The Next Right Thing

June 1, 2014

One of my most faithful friends often says, “You just have to so the next right thing. That’s how you get through.”

I think she’s right.

Another friend of mine shared a poem recently that spoke about the things you do in the dark. It is a beautiful poem, with my favorite line (for today) being, “Find the path by walking it.”

Then my mother posted on Facebook an excerpt from the writings of Ozwald Chambers, which speaks about learning to listen to God’s voice in the darkness.

Also recently I spoke with a man who is active in a healing prayer ministry and he told me that I should pray through Psalm 91 regularly right now. In that Psalm, the writer speaks of resting in the shadow of the Almighty and so my prayer at night has been, “Cast your shadow over this home so we may know you are nearby tonight.” 

It’s funny how God tries to get through to us any way he can. The thing that strikes me about all of these encounters is that they speak of darkness. Even casting a shadow is a form of darkness. And as we well know, darkness is… well, dark. It can throw us into confusion. It can make us freak out in terror. It can cause us to want to bolt down whatever direction we possibly can- even if it is the wrong way. But instead, in the darkness we are called to simply do the next right thing. The thing that we only can know by nestling up near the heart of God and waiting for the sound of his leading.

As we sit in the silent waiting of darkness for God to reveal the way for us to go, something is happening. We are learning to hear the voice of the Creator. The one who hovered broodingly over the dark of an unformed earth. The voice of the Good Shepherd. We are learning that sitting in the darkness brings an awareness to things you can’t know in the light. We are learning that the path before us is one surrendered to radical trust in the kind hands of Jesus, who teaches us what that “next right thing” is. And we are learning that not all darkness is bad…

Sometimes it’s simply the shadow of the Almighty.

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