Have you ever been lost? I was lost in the Entebbe Botanical Gardens in Uganda with my daughter, Molly, a few years ago because I declined the assistance of a tour guide.
As it turned out, the Gardens were much larger and more confusing than I anticipated, and we wandered around alone for quite some time before finding a road (we never found the entrance/exit again). Lesson learned: If I am going to get somewhere, I need a leader.
Throughout the Bible, we find examples of God leading people. He led them into lands, places of refuge, into battle, and always into a relationship with Himself.
Joseph Gilmore wrote He Leadeth Me during the Civil War, based on Psalm 23. Verses 2-3 say, “He leads me in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.”
Sometimes ‘mid scenes of deepest gloom
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom
By water’s calm o’er trouble sea
Still ‘tis God’s hand that leadeth me
Sometimes ‘mid scenes of deepest gloom. On earth, we face adversity. While we prefer God to lead us “where Eden’s bowers bloom,” sometimes He leads us through difficult times first. There are times of great sorrow – deepest gloom, as this stanza says. Still, it’s the hand of God that leads us. He never leaves us to face these dark trials on our own. He leadeth.
Psalm 23:4a reminds us, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom. A Bower is an evergreen climbing shrub with beautiful, showy flowers. An interesting detail is that the Bower is the only climbing shrub that blooms during the dreary winter season in Israel (between December and February). Without the winter – without the scenes of deepest gloom – there is no blossoming bower.
The same is true in our lives. The most personal growth we experience often follows seasons of difficulty. What a mercy we do not walk them alone. He leadeth.
Whether we face scenes of deepest gloom or we are experiencing the blooming of new growth, it is still God’s hand that leads.
Joseph Gilmore said, “God’s leadership is the one significant fact in human experience. It makes no difference how we are led, or where we are led, so long as we are sure God is leading us.”
Without a guide to lead me through the confusion and struggles of this life, I would be lost. God is a trustworthy leader who loves us, cares for us, and knows the end from the beginning.
Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”