“For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.”
– Psalm 31:3
Who should boast he needs no guide to tread a path unseen,
Who should brag he can conquer hills and valleys and beasts so very mean.
A humble servant knows his need as he treks through barren land,
He trusts a Guide to pave the way, following His perfect plan.
This devotional is written in the midst of a world-wide pandemic called COVID-19. This coronavirus has taken thousands of lives, closed schools, businesses and churches, discouraged families from having kin and friend into their homes; and almost overnight has turned us into a “masked” society. For nearly a year we have lived with the prospect of the unknown. Life was fairly predictable. Then, like a sudden roadblock, it was as though God said, “Enough!” Whether allowed, permitted, or caused, depending on your view of divine providence, it was as though the Creator of all heaven and earth was saying, it is time to trust as you have never trusted before; to have faith more than ever before; to pray intentionally with a heart totally surrendered to a God who has promised to guide us through a barren land.
And to those who know not our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, another grace-given wake-up call to come to Him. I have likened this pandemic to another, and maybe final, altar call from God in heaven to seize the attention of a lost and dying world. There have been many such altar calls by God through the centuries of time and a day is coming when there will be one final call before our holy God demonstrates His righteous wrath upon an unrighteous people. Because our God is such a caring and patient God, He waits but He will not wait forever. Thankfully He is such a compassionate God that in Scripture the word “come,” is mentioned some 600 times. In fact in the closing chapter of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, we have a final invitation to the lost to come, “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).”
Thankfully during these present days of uncertainty we who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb have a Guide who will lead us through the perils of the hour to a City which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10). Believers in Scripture are often called pilgrims. A pilgrim is one heading to a sacred place. Israel in the Old Testament was promised a special land, a land of milk and honey, a land called Canaan, but through disobedience their detour lasted forty years in the wilderness. But even there, God in His love and care for His own, guided them, fed them and gave them water for refreshment.
William Williams (1717-1779), upon conversion at age 20, became deeply concerned about the spiritual need of his home land, Wales. Thus for some 40 years he chose all of Wales to be his parish and traveled more than 100,000 miles on horseback preaching, writing and singing as an evangelist, becoming known as the “sweet singer of Wales.” Truly a servant aware of God’s guidance, from his pen came forth the following lyrics that have blessed so many over the centuries, and maybe in a special way for you today.
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty – hold me with Thy pow’rful hand:
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven, feed me til I want no more;
Feed me til I want no more.
When I tread the verge of Jordan, bid my anxious fears subside;
Bear me through the swelling current; land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises, I will ever give to Thee,
Songs of praises I will ever give to Thee.
The will of God will not take you where the grace of God cannot keep you!