Recently I drove out to my friend’s house in the country. The drive winds through fields of cows and dips along lines of pine trees—it’s beautiful. But it’s unfamiliar to a suburban girl like me. So I plugged my friend’s address into my GPS app and followed Siri’s directions. I had been there once before (following one of her family members), so I thought between my memory and my GPS, I would have no trouble.
Oh, I was wrong.
After twisting and turning down bumpy roads that were looking less and less familiar and taking far longer to reach my destination than I remembered, I figured that I had taken a wrong turn and that Siri would redirect me. So I kept turning where he told me to turn, trusting him to get me there. Finally, I turned down a gravel road and heard Siri announce that I had arrived at my destination. I was in the middle of a field.
I was lost.
I looked at the sun setting over the isolated fields and tried not to panic. I had no idea where I was or where my friend’s house was. I was alone and I had lost my internet connection. So I walked about until I could find a signal and called my friend.
She did not recognize the name of the road I was on, so I retraced my drive as far as I could (which was not far) until I came to a crossroads where, to my relief, a tall white steeple caught my eye. I pulled into the empty, but lit church parking lot and waited for my friend to find that intersection on her map. She figured out where I was, then drove out to find me. I was still lost, but my friend knew exactly where I was. Forty-five minutes later, I was sitting at her house, laughing my fear away with friends.
My experience led me to thinking about the many times I have felt lost in my Christian life. Times when I followed someone’s wrong directions, times when I felt alone and isolated, times when I had no idea where my next destination was or where I was supposed to go to get there.
We get lost often in life. Perhaps you are feeling lost right now. Our immediate response is panic, but it does not have to be, because the way back is simple. All I had to do was turn around and call my friend. All we have to do when we are lost is turn around and call on God.
One of my favorite chapters of the Bible is Psalm 139. In verses 9 and 10, the psalmist writes:
“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
I love this verse because it shows me that even when I am lost, I am never truly lost. God is always with me, always leading me, always holding me. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting at home or in the slums, if you are in heaven or hell, if you are in the city or in the middle of the sea, God is always with you.
We are never lost to God. He knows every road, even the gravel side roads, and has an aerial view of our lives. He sees every crossroad and every landmark, and He knows how to lead us back to His destination.
After I called my friend, she figured out exactly where I was—but I still had no clue where I was. So I had to find a safe place to park and wait. When I looked up from that crossroads to find a safe place, I saw that tall white steeple. When you call on God to help you, you still have to wait for Him to come and lead you back. But He has provided you with a safe place to wait for Him—His church. When you are lost and alone, you have a safe place in the body of Christ to wait for help—you have a sanctuary from the dark, cold world. Find a church, find a group of believers, and wait in safety for God to lead you back.
It’s hard to wait. We get impatient. We begin to panic. We start looking to others for direction. We try to find our own way. But if we don’t stay put, we get more lost.
There have been a few occasions in my life when I have parked beneath a white steeple for a season. There is no safer place than the body of Christ when you are lost, when you have been hurt, when you are stuck in between two closed doors and are waiting for the right one to open. I have met some of the most incredible Christians while I was waiting for God to show me where to go next. Take refuge in God’s people.
When God does begin to lead you, follow in faith. When my friend met me at that church and led me to her house, I still had no idea where I was or where I was going. It unnerved me not knowing, but I had no real reason to fear, because I was following someone who did know. When God begins to lead you, you still may have no idea where you destination is or even where you will turn next—but God knows. You simply have to trust and follow Him.
You have a direct line to God. When you are lost and alone in life, you have no reason to fear or panic. If you call on Him, He will lead you back. Call out to Him, look for a steeple, and park and wait for Him to come and find you.