SENSE OF DIRECTION
by David Sisler
In an interesting piece of research, marine biologists took a turtle 15,000 miles from the island where the turtle traditionally laid its eggs. They equipped the turtle – unbeknown to the turtle – with a radar device so its path could be followed. Then they tossed the turtle overboard.
The research vessel headed back to the island where the turtle had been born. Despite storms and everything that could happen at sea, the turtle met the boat when it docked at the island. Unlike the men who devised the test, the turtle was born with a sense of direction.
Do you ever wonder about God’s sense of direction?
Would you wonder about God’s sense of direction if you abandoned a successful medical practice to become a medical missionary and less than a year after arriving on the field, you contracted the disease you went to cure?
Would you wonder about God’s sense of direction if you were a college student who had been treated for cancer three times in two years?
Would you wonder about God’s sense of direction if your wife developed phlebitis and had to quit work, next you lost your job of 25 years simply because the factory moved out of town, and then your only child was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness?
Would you wonder about God’s sense of direction if at age 25, you had seven brain operations, the last one saved your life, but it left you with a permanent tracheotomy just to allow you to breathe, left the right side of your body permanently damaged, and destroyed your right eye?
A crowd gathered in the Temple thought Jesus had lost his sense of direction. A group of Jews were attracted to him and believed in him at a time when opposition to his ministry was increasing and the crowds were decreasing.
Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “If you continue to obey my teaching, you are truly my followers. Then you will know the truth. And the truth will make you free.”
The Jews answered, “We are Abraham’s children. And we have never been slaves. So why do you say that we will be free?”
In one of the most interesting exchanges between Jesus and any crowd who ever listened to him, the attitude turned from acceptance to hostility, from following to rejection. Jesus declared his divinity and his equality with God, and the people who had been following him only moments before, picked up stones and tried to kill him. In their opposition, the Jews believed Jesus had lost his sense of direction.
The 25-year-old woman who has had the seven brain operations, who can no longer speak, and whose right eye is sown shut, has written a beautiful poem:
Too many nights I wondered why
Too long I cried with pain
And questioned while the nights grew cold
Will laughter come again?
I almost kept a bitter heart
I couldn’t find the way
Then Jesus came, and this is what
I heard my Savior say:
“If you never knew the darkness
“You could never know the light
“For there never is a sunrise
“Until there’s been a night.”
And then I cried and answered him
“I’d rather not be whole
“Than gain my health and lose your best
I need a healthy soul.”
Solomon was talking about a sense of direction when he wrote, “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?”
Do you suppose the author of that poem knew exactly where the Lord was leading her? I doubt it, but it is obvious from the poem she has learned to trust God’s sense of direction.
If Jesus has spoken to you and said, “Follow me,” by God’s grace you can trust him. He knows where he is going.
Copyright 2003 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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