God

Visibility: Zero

If I get caught driving behind an 18-wheeler, or one of those monster family vans, my blood pressure spikes.

I can’t see.Talk about stress! I sweat. I crane my neck to see around the blockade in front of me. I check the rear view mirrors for a chance to zip into the next lane. My death grip on the steering wheel turns my knuckles ashen. Zero visibility temporarily subdues my sanity and I become an irascible old coot aghast that another motorist would misuse my highway.

Although zero visibility is unpleasant for me, God tells us He can use those times as teachable moments.  God can do great things in us when we have the right attitude about zero visibility. When we get too hung up on the future, we lose sight of what’s going on today.

Tomorrow never gets here. Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

So, why do we think we need to be ahead of the curve? Why is it so important that we know the details of what’s up ahead? For me it’s one of three circumstances: 1) I’m late getting where I’m supposed to be; 2) I’m lost (This happens a lot. I’m the poster child for losing my way. I have no sense of direction. I’ve even been lost in the Wal-Mart parking lot. For a time I would not go to Wal-Mart without my wife or daughter so they could remember where we parked.); and 3) it’s all about me, my priorities, my wants, my will, my flesh.

Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

But oh, can I take care of tomorrow today. I create all kinds of scenarios about how I think some situation or engagement is going to work out tomorrow. I’m college educated, you know. I’m smart. I know people. I have a minor in psychology. In some situations I think I know what someone is going to say, how they will respond to me and what the outcome will be.

In fact, I’ve kept a record of my success at predicting how things are going to turn out tomorrow. I started keeping track 687 encounters ago. You can see my success rate in the pie chart below:

Obviously I was hoping for better results. Does anyone out there have more success than I do?

God tells me in Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” We’re all familiar with Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways (and Interstates) acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”

In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  In other words He’s telling me, “I’m way ahead of that semi in front of you. I’ve already laid out the road for you and made your path straight. But I want to be the driver, not the passenger.”

What is it about not being able to see into tomorrow (not being able to know what lies in front of that 18-wheeler in front of us) that disturbs us.  I know Christians who worry themselves into migraine headaches because they fear the future. “It’s the not knowing,” they say, “that makes things so unbearable.”

Let’s get real transparent here. I simply don’t trust God all the time. I’d rather know what the future holds than know who holds my future. I’d rather let my flesh run things. I try to clear out the obstructions in my life myself, so my visibility gets closer to 100 percent than zero.

These days I trust God in most of my circumstances. As the Holy Spirit sanctifies me, as the years go by, I get less concerned about what’s ahead, then I enjoy being in His presence today. I can enter the Sabbath Rest the writer of Hebrews talks about.

I wish I trusted God all the time. I know that’s not possible; but the times I do trust Him with my life, I live my life full of gratitude and thanksgiving and joy and peace.

In my nasty flesh zero visibility aggravates the stew out of me.

But in my spirit zero visibility is a wonderful place to abide.

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16 thoughts on “Visibility: Zero

  1. Beloved Brother Steven, I have already commented on this one over at Christian Blessings–but I will just rejoice with you again on the fresh honesty of the pie chart showing how often you were not right!

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  2. This was oh so true! My results, about as lack-luster as yours!
    Thanks for being real, your articles are well written, uplifting, truthful, and to the point.

    Blessings my friend

    Greg

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  3. Laughing at the Wal-Mart thing, LOL!! I love your new website! I got your message. My phone was broke all last week. Sorry I missed your call. Did you get my reply?
    Haven’t been by your blog lately. Looks like you are doing well. Thanks for the wonderful post. I can definitely relate to the pie chart. Even when I am certain I am right about something, God humbles me and shows me I am wrong. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Amanda. We’ll talk some time soon. Looking forward to lunch with you and Jay when you come through. Thank you for your kind comments. I’m grateful you were blessed by my post. Talk to you soon.

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  4. Well, this was certainly timely for me:) The sentence that really got me – “I’d rather know what the future holds than know who holds my future”. I’ve just to keep keeping on and forget about that 18-wheeler that’s holding me back right now. Thank you!

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    1. Brooke, I’m so grateful that the words God gave me were able to bless you. Your comment is exactly what this blog is all about. Thank you again for dropping by and for your kind words. God bless.

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  5. I used to follow behind 18-wheelers on purpose, had heard that the air flowing around them would somehow pull me along and save gas. Well, I’ve heard more recently that there is no truth to that situation. But I find I do not mind being behind a big truck/RV, not as long as they are traveling at the same speed I am. If they are slower, then, of course, I try to go around them, but more often than not, I set my cruise control and enjoy the ride.

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    1. Diane, great comments. I heard about “drafting” they called it. Apparently if you follow a truck close enough, going fast enough, the air flow creates a vacuum right behind it. For it to work the truck has to be going about 70 and you almost have to be traveling close enough to reach out and touch the truck. I get behind the ones stuck in traffic, or crawling at 5 mph on the Interstate. I use cruise too, when I travel. Some semis run faster than I do at 70! Thanks for the comments. God bless you.

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  6. Heh,heh,heh! 🙂 I love this post! Oh, how reality can bite. There are two ways for me to get through the mountain pass into town: The freeway (trucks, trucks, more trucks and various high-speed vehicles) and the frontage road (me, and a few other slow movers).
    Not knowing what lies ahead is part of the joy of life. Just when you think you have it all figured out, God comes along and gives you a huge blessing – out of the blue. Yes, sometimes those blessings come in the form of trials, but ususlly they come in the form of a smile. Like today when I read your post. Thank you, Steven for making my whole day a LOT brighter.

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    1. Loved your comment, “Not knowing what lies ahead is part of the joy of life. Just when you think you have it all figured out, God comes along and gives you a huge blessing.” Amen! Thank you so much for your kind comments. I love hearing your encouraging words and support. God bless you. I’m blessed that God used my words to make your day brighter.

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  7. I enjoyed your post this morning. I look forward to adding your reflections to my morning routine. Blessings to you.

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    1. Welcome. And thank you so much for your kind words. I hope God will richly bless you through the words He gives me. I usually publish new blogs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

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