29. GUIDANCE IN THE DARK
"How precious also are Your thoughts unto me, O God!"
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known—I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
There are times when God's dealings with His people are perplexing—His thoughts very deep—His ways past finding out—when the present is full of anxiety, the future full of difficulty. Their condition is that of blind men groping at noontime—the whole of life a mazy labyrinth, of which they have lost the guiding thread. Their path seems shut up. Pharaoh is behind, and the raging Red Sea in front—their feeling is—"We are entangled; the wilderness has shut us in."
Or they may be confounded in solving some question of duty. The employment and destiny of a lifetime may depend on a moment's choice. They may feel the responsibility of deciding between rival and competing claims; trembling and fearful lest some selfish, carnal, unworthy motive may mingle in the decision, and yet experiencing a painful inability to decide what is best.
Perplexed or desponding one! amid these your anxious, wavering, undecided thoughts, be this your comfort—God's thoughts are upon you. He is the leader of the blind. "Speak," says He, "to the children of Israel, that they go forward." At the crisis-hour of difficulty or trial He will appear to all His seeking, trusting people, and vouchsafe guidance or deliverance—not, perhaps, what they expect, but what He knows to be best for them. At the fourth watch of the night Jesus came to his disciple—walking upon the sea. "They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation."
Rely on the God of the pillar-cloud. He will bring you, as He did His Israel, "through the flood on foot." "Be still," is His tender rebuke to the distrustful soul, "and know that I am God." How it would disarm life of many of its anxieties, and take the sting from many perplexities, if we were careful to listen to His voice (the expression and utterance of His 'precious thoughts')—"This is the way; walk in it." "A wondrous way—a tender way—but, with all its humiliations, THE right way."—(Evans)
Yes, believe it—"All the paths of the Lord [and this present dark and perplexing path of yours, whatever it be, is one of them] are mercy and truth to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies." Confide in no fallible guidance. Be this your lofty resolve—"In the Lord I put my trust; how can you say to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?" Regard every new turn in existence as a wise, provident "thought" of your heavenly Father. Make it your earnest prayer in the words of Nehemiah—"Think upon me, my God, for good."
Thus, putting your case in His hands, and leaving it there, "He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday." Yours may be a mingled, chequered past—yet too how bright with blessings—how full of remembrances of God's loving thoughts—His gracious interventions—His signal deliverances! Make these an argument and reason for implicit trust in the future—"You have been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation."
Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord. Psalm 107:43