Trusting When You Can’t See

Hello, dear one! Please pray for me as I meet with the Lord to finish a new writing project. May His words flow through my heart and to the pages, and may He use this work to draw His people to Himself. I will be writing posts again soon, but in the meantime, I’m excited to share some guest posts over the next few weeks. I pray their words will bless you.

Today’s post comes from Susan Stilwell, a Bible teacher and writer from Roanoke, VA. She’s also a beloved family member!  Visit her blog to read more of her encouraging words.

Guest Author Susan Stilwell []

Soon after we lifted off the runway, dense fog swallowed our twin-engine aircraft.  I tried to regain my bearings by looking down toward the ground, then out over the wing of the plane. But everywhere I looked, white. Nothing but white.

I love to travel and I especially love air travel, but I have to admit that I don’t love flying in bad weather. I especially hate flying in foggy conditions. My cool-as-a-cucumber husband sits reading his book while I close my eyes and pray until I can see something.

Before we were married, my husband had a pilot’s license and flew regularly. He was training to get his instrument rating when he decided there were a lot of other ways he could spend his money besides flying.

Steve learned a lot during his flight training, and one of the most important lessons was to trust his instruments. Finely tuned and precise, the instruments show the exact bearing of the aircraft based on conditions such as air pressure, air density, magnetic compass, etc. Those readings are critical to pilots because they can’t always trust what they see.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~Hebrews 11:1

Walking with the Lord can be like flying a plane. Sometimes we can see where we’re headed and know which adjustments to make, but other times we feel like we’re in a fog and have no idea which direction we’re going. During those times it’s critical that we have something we can trust to guide us.

God’s Word can serve as the control panel for our lives. When we can’t see a clear path, we don’t have to panic and become disoriented. Verses like these can be the gauges that guide us through our fog:

  • God is faithful (Deut 31:8)
  • He provides (Phil 4:19)
  • He leads us (Is 30:21)
  • He gives us peace (Phil 4:8)
  • He is omniscient (Rom 8:28)

By faith, we can trust that everything is moving according to God’s timetable. And when the time is right, we know He’ll bring us out of the fog.

Until then, we trust the gauges and promises in His Word.

For personal reflection:

What are some of your favorite “gauge” verses?

The Unfamiliar Path

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 

The unfamiliar path. Some face it with excitement, anticipation kindled by the prospect of discovery. Many dare not tread upon it. They fear what they do not know.

Fear does strange things to us. It turns sound thinking into irrational folly. It can cause us to make destructive choices. It robs us of peace.

Fear of the unknown is no different. Consider the abused woman who chooses to remain with her abuser. At least with him she knows what to expect. The lure of freedom offers her no such security. She cannot see how she can survive on her own. So she chooses familiarity over uncertainty, even at great cost.

Have you imprisoned yourself within the boundaries of the familiar? What will it cost you?

We serve a God who specializes in surpassing what we can conceive (1 Corinthians 2:9). That’s what makes pursuing His will so glorious; it’s so much better than ours.

Christ offers a way to overcome our fear and discover the extraordinary. He has come to empower each of us to leave our dark burdens and step into the light of freedom. But like the abused woman who is too afraid to change her circumstances, we often fight Him because of our fear. We prefer the comfort of the familiar over the uncertainty of a new path.

When we allow fear to stop us from stepping into God’s promises, we ignore a fundamental truth: God is love (1 John 4:16). He doesn’t just possess love; He is love. And because God’s love is not just a feeling but rather who He is, He cannot take action without demonstrating it. He will always display His love through what He does.

That truth, dear one, applies to you. God will pour out His love for you through every action He takes in your life. And because His love is perfect and unfailing, it holds the power to overcome your fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Your loving God beckons you down a path to freedom. Though the trail is unfamiliar, it remains certain. God’s presence removes your fear of the unknown from the equation. The outcome of this path is sure. He will prosper you as you walk along it. What’s more, you will never travel His path alone.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord, your God, will never forsake you. His promises are true. You have no need to fear. He will lead you on the path to freedom and glory. He will go before you to prepare the way, and He will remain with you to guard your feet from stumbling. He will also pick you up when you succumb to fear and doubt and fall. You will discover the wondrous beauty of His perfect love.

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16

I have stood at the edge of the unfamiliar path and chosen to trust my Jesus. As I have walked with Him, He has kept His promises, proving Himself faithful and true. He has shown me my blindness and empowered me to see. When I have stumbled in the darkness, He has cast His light so I would know where to step. He has never left me, and I am certain He never will.

How am I so certain, dear one?  I gave Him the opportunity to prove Himself.

Oh, the glory of perfect love. You will never know it until you choose to trust it.

The enemy of your soul would have you fear the unfamiliar path. He knows that as you walk down it he will lose his stranglehold upon your heart. His power lies in fear, doubt, and deception. Allow Christ’s perfect love to cast out your fear, beloved. Join Jesus on the path to glory!

Choosing Life

This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 

Choice. The great gift our Creator bestowed into the heart of mankind so that we might offer love freely became the cause of our distance from Him. You know the story. Adam chose to neglect God’s way and sought his own instead. We all know how that turned out.

I can’t imagine the aching regret that must have consumed him as he experienced each new consequence resulting from his choice: separation from God, nakedness, shame, sorrow, fear, and blame to name a few. Far worse must have been the agony of watching his sin play out in the lives of his sons. He stood powerless as sin’s cords entangled the heart of his firstborn, giving birth to jealousy, rage, and even death.

Adam discovered a hard-learned lesson that we would be wise to heed. Our choices always have consequences.

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8

Each decision we make results in either life or death, each choice a crossroads marking paths to redemption or destruction. Our Creator beckons us toward life, offering His Son as the truth and the way we can follow to restoration. Yet all the while the serpent draws us into his will with half-truths and deceitful promises, and our sinful nature convinces us to believe him.

That, dear one, is why salvation must come through faith in Jesus.

Who will you trust to be the author of your steps, beloved? Will you trust Jesus, who offers the path to abundant life (John 10:10), or will you continue to follow the path lit by your sinful flesh and bound to the will of the prince of darkness (2 Timothy 2:26)?

It seems an easy question. Of course God’s is the better path! And many claim that they will follow Jesus on the path to life. But when faced with the reality of living out that choice, their resolve fades. The familiar voice of the enemy continues to call and they find themselves making the same destructive choices Adam made.

Consider the whole of Jeremiah 6:16,

This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

Where do you stand today, dear one? What choice lies before you that holds the power of life and death? Sometimes, it’s an obvious answer. Other times, it’s not so clear. But whatever your circumstance, God has your answer, and within it lies rest for your soul.

Jeremiah 6:16 offers the key to discovering God’s will at your crossroads. It lists four commands: stand, look, ask, walk.

  • Stand – The verb stand evokes two thoughts. First, standing involves stillness; it is a stationary action. Consider Psalm 46:10“Be still, and know that I am God.” Before we move in any direction, we must be still, pausing to acknowledge the One who IS God.

Yet standing is also an action. One who stands isn’t idle or complacent, but ready to move when the time is right. Are you ready to take your stand?

  • Look – The second action offered in this verse is look. Hebrews 12:2 commands, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith . . .” As we pause at our crossroads we must look to the Son. He waits to lead us on the path to life.
  • Ask – Thirdly, we must ask for direction. God will never withhold Himself from a seeking heart. He desires to reveal His will, and He sent His Son to make a way for each of us to live out His purpose. 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives . . .” Matthew 7:7-8

  • Walk – Lastly, once we have heard from on high, we must choose to walk down the path He has revealed. James 1:22 reminds us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Our ability to hear means nothing if we aren’t willing to also obey.

If you will take these four steps in obedience to God’s Word, He offers a glorious result: “you will find rest for your soul.” Four acts of obedience leading to one act of discovery, a discovery that is well worth the cost.

Your daily choices will profoundly impact not only our own life, but also the lives of your children and others who follow you. Like Adam, you will watch them reap from the seeds you sow. Let’s be deliberate about sowing seeds of life!

Before you take another step, stand still, look to Jesus, ask His direction, and then follow where He leads. His, after all, is the path to glory.



Independence Day

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Today we celebrate freedom from oppression, liberty purchased for us by the blood of those who came before. I am so thankful for their sacrifice, and for their part in establishing this great country where we can live in the freedom of democracy.

As we pause to reflect on our liberty, may we also remember another who bled for our freedom: the precious Son who gave His life as a ransom for many. Jesus suffered the cross so that we could live free.

Are you free, dear one? Have you left behind the shackles of past hurts?  Are you still locked in the bondage of controlling sin? Jesus shed His blood to purchase your release.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1

We live in uncertain times. The face of liberty has changed in the United States of America. Perhaps you share concern over the direction our once great nation appears to be headed. Take heart! Hope looms on the horizon. Its power rests within hearts of the redeemed.

Consider God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14,

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

What if we celebrated this Independence Day by answering the Spirit’s call to revival?

It sounds good in theory. What Christian wouldn’t applaud the masses turning to the Lord in repentance? We love the concept, but we often ignore the means. You see, God desires to begin revival in you and me.

What if you chose to make it personal, to really believe the promises in God’s Word were meant for you? What if you really could be free and were able to experience the miracle of a transformed heart? What if your prayers actually could have the power to open the heavens?

He waits for you to trust Him, dear one. All of His promises are true. And they’re meant for you. I pray that this Independence Day will mark the beginning of your own journey to real freedom. May you become all that Jesus bled and died for you to be, and may you discover with joy that in Him, you really do have the power to change the world.