Have you ever felt totally helpless with a situation and wanted to help so badly but had no idea how?
I came face-to-face with one of those situations the other day, and it reminded me a whole lot of how the Lord probably feels with us sometimes.
A man had been sent to the area to complete a task for us, then would head back to the Chicago area after he was finished. Well, what sounds like it would be sweet and simple trip turned into a whole hour-long struggle, one in which I felt totally helpless.
You see, the man didn't speak english, his phone was out of data, and he had no idea how he was going to get home. He took his phone and signaled that he needed to use ours. I thought he was trying to say his phone was dead so he needed ours, but when he showed it to me, his battery was full. I was confused, so I handed him the phone. He seemed a bit nervous and stressed, but I couldn't pin why. I tried asking him in Spanish if he needed directions, but he didn't speak Spanish, either.
Well, shoot. He called a number multiple times with no luck. He was leaving voicemails and I could just tell he was becoming quite frantic. His hands were trembling and with each unanswered phone call, you could sense his anxiety rising.
At last, his contact answered and after much discussion, it was solved. He connected to wifi, loaded the map, and then was on his way. That doesn't mean I wasn't still nervous, I got on the phone twice before he left asking if the man's map would still load on his phone once he wasn't connected to wifi any longer. Yes, he assured me, it would take him home.
It was a simple, quick easy solution. Connect to the wifi, load the map, head out on his way. However, with language barriers and unanswered calls, it seemed completely out of anyone's control.
When I was driving home that night, I couldn't stop thinking about that, and thought of how so many times, I have felt like that man. I had an idea of where I was going or what I was doing, but ultimately, the Lord had control over it all.
How many times have I felt frustrated, anxious, afraid? How many times have I tried to handle something all on my own, only for it to overwhelm me because it wasn't something I was meant to do alone? How many times does the Lord watch over us and just wait for us to lean into Him, surrender it all, and trust Him to work it all for our good? Probably way more often than we'd like to admit.
He doesn't give up on us though. He's there- the one constant, even when we choose to try to do it on our own and resort to Him lastly when we've run out of data ourselves.
I can always tell when I've "run out of data." My mind gets to racing and I become super high-strung and stressed. I know during those times what I need, and that's quiet time to just be with the Lord and decompress, but it's also during those times when I have to force myself to do it, otherwise the to-do list will keep winning.
We don't have to run out of data. We don't have to keep pushing ourselves, using it all up until we've reached the limit. We can pause. We can seek direction, comfort, healing, clarity, discernment from Him before we get to that point. We can pause for five or ten minutes in our hectic schedules and refocus.
It's not easy. It's tough to trust someone we can't see, to trust He will guide us where He needs us, doing what He created us to do. You might get "recalculated" and rerouted more than you anticipated, but He'll always lead us, never forsake us, and always be our guide, whether we understand where we're headed or not. He sees us, He knows our futures, and He's never going to let us run out of data.