Knowing the Way
When I was a teenager, I got lost. I was driving home on a familiar road, but I got off the road to find something...and when I got back in the car and started driving again, I couldn't figure out which way to go. I could see where I wanted to be, but I had no idea how to get from where I was to where I wanted to go.
One of Jesus' disciples felt like that once, too. His name was Thomas. It's probably fair to say that Thomas was not the most positive of Jesus' closest friends. He tended to think that the worst was going to happen. So, as Jesus was telling his disciples about heaven, about how he would go ahead of them and prepare a place for them, about how he would be there with them forever and ever...well, even then, Thomas was feeling lost. Jesus told them...
"You know the way to where I am going."
"No, we don't know, Lord," Thomas said. "We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus responded as only he could...
"I am the way, the truth, and the life..."
Thomas thought he needed to have it all figured out. He thought he needed to know everything Jesus was going to do, but Jesus reminded him that he only needed to know one thing.
He only needed to know Jesus...because Jesus IS the way.
If we focus on the problems and challenges we face, we will feel like Thomas did. We will feel sad, overwhelmed, lost, and confused. But if we focus on Jesus, we can remember that he is there to handle things with us...and even for us.
Since there are a LOT of things to pull our focus away from Jesus, especially when we are feeling lost or facing something difficult, it can be hard to remember that he is all we need. But he is all we need because he can and does give us everything we need to find our way.
Now here's the tough part...it doesn't always seem like Jesus is with us or that he is leading us in the right direction because sometimes the right direction from God's perspective is REALLY hard for us. Remember Thomas? Jesus did not lay out all the details for him ahead of time, but he was going to have to watch Jesus die. After spending three years following Jesus, he had to see his best friend go through something awful...and deal with the very real possibility that it could happen to him, too. And on top of all that, he had to be wondering what all this meant...why it was happening.
But then, Jesus rose from the dead. And he met Thomas and invited him to touch the marks the nails had made in his hands so that he could be sure it really was Jesus. That moment showed Thomas that Jesus truly was the way...the only thing he needed to figure out where to go. It didn't make sense before, but it made sense now. He really did KNOW the way. He knew Jesus.
Read Proverbs 16:1-9
How does this passage invite us to find the way? What is the difference between making our own path and following God's path?
Make a Path
If you like to draw or paint, make a picture of a path. If you prefer outdoor activity, create a path to follow out in your yard or at a local park. As you create, think and talk about the difference between making our own way and following Jesus.
Take a verse
Choose one verse from Proverbs 16:1-9 and write it somewhere you will see it this week.