Life is often referred to as a journey…which I think is quite appropriate. A journey is not the same thing as a quick trip or short outing. A journey is a trek embarked upon that will take up our time and energy, as well as potentially our resources. A journey often requires some planning. So yes, comparing life to a journey is a good comparison.
Yet often, while we know that life is a journey, we act as though we want it to be more like a quick trip or short outing. Minimal planning, go somewhere and get what I want and then get out again, with not too much of our time, energy, or resources needed to accomplish. We like it when things come easy or work out well, and we can easily get frustrated when things don’t.
But the reality is, life is a journey. A long, fun, difficult, exciting, exhausting, adventurous, and sometimes even treacherous journey. And it doesn’t change from being all of that just because we want it to be more like a quick trip, or we want things to be easy. Life and the journey of it will be all of those (and more) whether we want it to be or not. The questions we must all ask ourselves is, how do we respond to all that goes on during our journey, and will we accept and embrace the journey or fight and complain about it?
There are times the journey of life will have times of ease, simplicity, and enjoyment. And when we encounter those times, we should always be thankful for those times. There will also be times when it’s difficult, tiring, and hard to see the path laid out before us. When we encounter those times, where we place our trust and focus becomes very important to help us continue on well.
We can choose to try and figure out the right path on our own, we can choose to work extra hard to get over obstacles ourselves, or we can choose to stop and get frustrated because we aren’t sure what to do and it doesn’t fit our agenda. Working to figure things out or trying harder to overcome obstacles are not bad…but they quickly drain a lot of our energy, and before we know it we have exhausted ourselves. Yet the journey is not done, so it becomes more difficult because we have less energy with which to draw from.
When we encounter those difficult spots on the journey, we must learn to not just try to figure it out on our own or try harder to overcome by ourselves. We must instead remember to look to the one who is bigger than us, stronger than us, and can help us through this journey no matter the difficulties we face. We must remember to look to God on our journey.
Something I learned back in college when I was facing a difficult part of the journey, and something I have recently been reminded of as I face another difficult spot, is that we were not meant to try and go through this life on our own strength. We were created to be in a relationship with God, and to learn to lean on and trust in him to help us, both in the difficult times as well as in the good.
I’ll be honest, I cannot make it through all of the difficulties of this life by myself. Even if I had a strong personality, was strong willed, had a great work ethic, and generally a positive outlook on life. The journey of this life, the messy journey that it proves to be over and over, is just too big me.
I need God to give me the strength I need to get through; I need God to lead me in the direction I’m supposed to go; I need God to pick me up at times and carry me through when I just can’t move anymore on my own. I need God. We all do, whether or not we want to admit it.
God created us to be in relationship with him, and he longs for us to look to him to be our guide and strength and comfort and peace and joy and salvation and help in trouble. May we remember that at all times, and live accordingly!
Here are handful of verses to help us and encourage us to look to God for help as we embark on the journey of our life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13)
“…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
*If you have other verses to add to this, please feel free to share in a comment