The path of each day
(J. R. Miller, "Finding the Way", 1904)
"Show me the way I should go." Psalm 143:8
We have a right to make this prayer. Our prayer will be answered, too. There will be a hand extended to guide us, to open the path for us, and to help us over the hard pinches of the road. God desires to lead us. His guidance includes not only our daily steps—but also the shaping of our circumstances and affairs. We cannot be thankful enough, that our lives are in God's hands, for we never could care for them ourselves.
To us the path of each day is always new—we have not passed this way before, and we cannot tell what any hour may bring to us. But Jesus knows all the way—for He went over every inch of it. There is no human experience which Christ does not understand. No suffering can be ours—which He did not feel. No wrong can hurt us—but He was hurt far more sorely. Is the burden heavy? His burden was infinitely heavier, for He took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses, and bowed beneath the load of our sins! There is no phase of struggle, of suffering, of pain, of temptation—with which He is unfamiliar. And knowing thus the way, from having experienced it for Himself, He is able to guide us in it.
Do we really need God's guidance? Are we not wise enough to decide what course it is best for us to take? Can we not find our own path in this world? There is a story of a tourist in the Alps who refused a guide. He said he could find the way himself. So he went out alone in the morning—but he never came back. Life in this world is far more perilous than mountain climbing.
There are times when every star seems to have gone out, and when clouds and darkness appear to have gathered about us, hiding every way-mark, so that we cannot see any way out of the gloom and perplexity. We need then to have God's direction—or we shall perish. But while there are times when we need God's guidance in an unusual way—there is no day in all our brightest year, when we do not need it, when we dare to go forward one step without it. The day we do not seek and obtain God's leading, will be a day of disaster for us. The day we go forth without prayer for divine blessing, when we do not lay our hand in Christ's as we go out into the great world—is a day of peril for us. Indeed, we often need the divine guidance the most—when we think we do not need it at all.
God's way does not always lie in the sunshine; sometimes it runs into deep glooms. We are not always out of His way—when we find ourselves facing obstacles and difficulties. When we cannot see where we are going—we may be in the everlasting way, because God is guiding us. He leads us away many a time, away from the path which we would have taken.
The way on which God guides us—is a way of holiness. When we pray for guidance, we must surrender our will to God. If we ask Him to guide us—we must yield our own preference, and accept His. We are in this world—to grow into the likeness of Christ. If then, we have been growing a little more patient, gentle, thoughtful, humble—if the peace of our hearts has become a little deeper, quieter, sweeter—our "rough" path is God's way for us.
God's way is a way of holiness—a pure, clean way. It is the road to heaven.