I have a love/hate relationship with my GPS. Oh, it has its place, and there are times when I rely heavily on the thing. For the most part however, I prefer not to drive with it. It’s forever choosing routes I wouldn’t choose, and just when I need it the most, it can never find a signal, or the roads no longer match what is in the GPS’s data base.

But perhaps what I dislike the most about driving with a GPS is that I lose the sense of the "big picture". Having been blessed with a relatively good sense of direction, I usually feel the most comfortable when I’ve spent some time studying a real, paper map! The
"map" on the GPS is too zoomed in, or if you zoom it out, it’s too small to read!

Needless to say, I don't always follow the advice of my GPS. If it seems to me that the thing is leading me astray, I feel very free to go my own way. And if the incessant, "You are no longer on the selected route"; and "As soon as possible, make a legal U-turn" messages get on my nerves, I simply turn off the volume.

And this is exactly what I did during a recent trip to Pennsylvania. Frustrated by not being able to see the entire route the GPS had chosen, I was sure it was leading me astray. I felt free to do my own thing, and naturally, the inevitable happened: We got lost. It was with humility that I reprogrammed the GPS and turned up the volume. Within minutes we were back on the right track.

As I thought about all of this, it occurred to me how driving with a GPS is much like our faith walk with God. When we walk with God we don't see the full picture either. Instead, we are often only given little snippets of the path we are currently trodding. And so often that path seems all wrong! Frustrated by our lack of "sight" and sure that we know "best", we often choose to go our own way. But just like my little adventure with the GPS in Pennsylvania ended up with us getting lost, this is a sure way to become "lost" in life! Unlike my GPS, which occasionally does lead me astray, God's path is always right, no matter how little of it I can see, and no matter how wrong it all seems!

For hasn't God already promised this? "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 your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Friends, 2014 is upon us. What will this New Year bring?

We don't know the answer to this question, because God has only given us a little "snippet" of our path today. More than likely, however, this year will bring many good things; but it will also likely bring much that we would put in the category of "bad". More than likely, we will find ourselves asking how God could possibly be leading us down this particular path!

In these moments that will arise throughout this New Year, let's all remember that although we are often only privilege to a tiny piece of the big picture as we go through life, this doesn't mean the things have gotten outside of God's control! We can look forward to the time when we will see the big picture, and we can be guaranteed that on that day, we will thank God for the path He allowed us to follow. As long as we are willing to "drive blind" as we follow our "Heavenly GPS" without question, we will praise God, for the "big picture" will be beautiful!

Friends, the next time you are tempted to think that somehow your "heavenly GPS" has somehow gone very wrong, I invite you to listen to a song by Casting Crowns that speaks volumes to me. It’s entitled "Already There", and you can access it on YouTube by clicking here.  Or if you prefer just to read the lyrics, you can find them here.

Let this be a reminder to you that although you can't see the "big picture", God can, and He is directing your path!

Happy New Year!

In His love,

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.