Weekly Devotional: Right Paths (4 in Sabbath and Rest series)

A lovely local path for me is next to a brook. An oasis of peace in a suburban area.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23 (NIV)

Have you noticed that sometimes we put a huge amount of effort and energy into a project, but it never moves past the planning stage? While other times something just barrels into existence, without much of our insight or care? A Christian writer friend noted this principle as she reviewed the past year. Seven projects that she had cultivated had all fallen flat, but three were birthed without much advocacy from her.

I thought about this Christian writer as I read through Psalm 23 recently, for I realized that God’s guiding us along the right paths can mean that we spin fewer plates. If we trust him and his word, including his admonition to take a Sabbath rest, we trust that he’ll lead us the right way for the other six days, whether through our paid employment, volunteer work, caring for children or grandchildren or loving our neighbors.

Another Christian writer friend faces a change in her working circumstances as one of her regular sources of income comes to an end. Can she trust the Lord to lead her by the quiet waters as she considers the way forward, knowing that the true refreshment to her soul lies only in him? And that he will be faithful and will lead her to the right projects for his glory and praise – and her well-being?

We all face the challenge of which words we’ll believe – the quiet whisper of the Good Shepherd as he beckons us to follow him, or the fear that can bubble up in our soul, or the skeptical views that colleagues or family members might cast our way when we announce our purposes and plans. May we hear and heed the still, small voice today.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I want to believe that you will lead and guide me, but sometimes I struggle. Give me faith and help me to believe. Amen.

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