A few months ago, a friend and I took a road trip to Kansas City to attend a Lysa TerKeurst event. We were ecstatic to somehow manage front-row seats in the open-seating auditorium. It was an awesome night of praise and worship and of course, hearing Lysa speak. God was definitely in that place, and we left feeling very blessed.  

As we pulled out of the parking lot, my app announced the direction we needed to go. Because I don’t have a great sense of direction, I didn’t question the directions. After all, it’s always gotten me to where I need to go. It sure didn’t seem like the way we came in, but I trusted Siri’s directions and started out.

The further we went along, the more it seemed like we were driving into the Twilight Zone. Almost immediately, we were on country roads, but we just kept reasoning that surely this way was just having us avoid the traffic of Kansas City. By the time we realized that the route wasn’t going to dump us out onto a familiar highway, we were invested. To turn around would have put us home much later than the arrival time of 1:30. There was no choice but to keep going.

This road we traveled was pitch black and terrifying. Every muscle in my body was tense as I gripped the steering wheel, straining to see the way ahead. The chatter that once filled the car quieted into prayers. Our overactive imaginations of what could be out there made the bare trees along the way seem very ominous. Sometimes the road wasn’t very wide, and sometimes the directions would take us down some very sketchy, gravel roads. It was a ride to remember.

Obviously, we made it home and have lived to tell about it. And as I’ve reflected back on that experience, I can’t help but think of a verse in Psalm 23. It’s probably familiar to you. Verse 4 states, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…”

Have you had that experience? Sometimes life just takes us into some pretty dark and unknown territory. Many times it feels lonely, like you’re the only one on that path, just you and your GPS.  

How do we navigate the twists and turns in the journey? 

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105

No matter what our circumstances look like, we can walk through them if we are in God’s word and in prayer. It would have taken much longer to get home from our little adventure if I had turned down the volume on my phone or turned my phone off altogether. I needed to hear the directions.

I like how The Message reads in Isaiah 30:20-21:

…Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your Teacher [His Holy Spirit – my note] alive and present among you. Your Teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: This is the right road. Walk down this road.

As scary as that ride was, it would have been worse if I were totally alone. I had a friend by my side. It’s an amazing privilege to walk this life with a fellow Christian who can share our burdens. But even when we are alone in the physical, He is always present with us in our spirit.

As sure as I know that God was in the praise and worship of the hours before, I can assuredly say that He was there on that very dark road.  In my own life, I’ve been in this spot many times. Somehow it seems that after a spiritual peak, there will be difficult times. It’s been my GPS (God’s Promised Spirit) through the Word that has guided me safely home.

Father God, thank You so much for reminding me that I am never forsaken or forgotten. You see me in this dark place, and You promise there is purpose here. Bring Your life and light where all hope seems lost, Lord. Show me how to live authentically today, making room for both sorrow and praise to coexist together. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

prayer by Lysa TerKeurst

Yvonne
Wickenkamp

Yvonne is a part of our Christ’s Church family and is married to Jim, one of our Pastoral Care Ministers. They have 5 children, Joel, Kayla, Noelle, Angie, Ryan, and 5 grandchildren.

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