This summer, while hiking in Spain, we would often get up at the crack of dawn and get out on the trail. We did this so that we could get the majority of our miles in before the heat of the afternoon sun. The only problem with this early departure time was the darkness. So, on these dark mornings, at least one of us wore a headlamp to illuminate our way.
If you’ve never worn a headlamp, you may not know that it’s output is relatively small. Unlike a floodlight, which illuminates for what seems like miles, a headlamp only provides enough light for one to see the next few steps. Because of this, when we were on the trail, it was important for us to stay close to the light source so we could find our way.
I think this is the same way God leads his children. He doesn’t illuminate our path with stadium-style lighting; rather, the light he allows is more like a headlamp…so we can only see our next step, then our next, then our next.
AW Tozer says, "Our insistence upon seeing ahead is natural enough, but it is a real hindrance to our spiritual progress. God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to Him …. "
Maybe this is why God only shows us the very next step. He does this so we understand our need for His leadership. If our entire future was illuminated before us, we might decide to use our faulty human reasoning to alter events we think unnecessary. We might decide that suffering is just too hard. Or we might become fearful and decide He isn’t good.
But He is good. He’s always good. And in His infinite goodness and wisdom, He has a plan for our lives—a plan for eternal contentment and supreme satisfaction. A plan that He can only show us one step at a time. He has a plan to make us more like His Son; He does this by leading us gently, sometimes slowly, but always completely faithfully.
As we venture into our unpredictable days, transitions and adjustments will abound. Sometimes the trail will seem unfamiliar, the road too rocky, the darkness too great. And that, my friend, is when we will need to remember to strap on our headlamps and continue trudging on.
He is the Leader. We must stay close--and follow step…by step…by step.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."