Lenten Devotional: Friday, March 11

by Gail Hanula

Proverbs 11:14: Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

Maybe this has happened to you.  I was driving home last week in the dark when all of a sudden the sky opened up and sheets of rain surrounded the car. My visibility decreased to about zero. I didn’t know if I should pull over and wait until the rain slowed down or crawl along the freeway.  Frantically I searched for the white line on the road to guide my path, but I couldn’t see it.  I was lucky to have a friend in the car and shared my concern.  “You’re fine”, she said.  “I can see the white line and you’re in the lane.”  Just to have that affirmation was very reassuring.  At the first opportunity I got off the highway and took a slower route with more light to guide me. The rain eventually slowed down and we made it home safely.

It seems to me that this can be an analogy for other experiences in life.  We travel along on a pretty even keel until all of a sudden something happens out of the blue to shake up our world.  We find ourselves in the deep dark wood we’ve been talking about in worship. We can’t see where we are going and we don’t know if we are on the right path.  I’ve been there health-wise, career-wise and child-wise, and spent a lot of time on my knees each time, drawing closer to God. These experiences forced me to slow down my fast-paced life and rearrange my priorities. Prayer, Bible study, and the wise counsel of others got me through these tough times.

I am following a plan to read the Bible in a year and am reading Proverbs in The Message by Eugene Peterson.  I really liked the interpretation of Proverbs 11:14.

Prayer: Dear God,
Help me to make prayer and Bible study priorities in my life, and to wait and listen for that still, small voice to guide me on my path to grow closer to you.

Psalm 143:1 (RSV)
O Lord, hear my prayer,
Listen to my cry for mercy;
In your faithfulness and righteousness
Come to my relief.