By Todd Hill
It’s graduation season! This means one thing: Lots of graduation parties celebrating the accomplishment of finishing school! Whether high school, undergraduate or graduate level, each student has crossed the finish line and is able to throw his cap in the air, signifying a huge burden lifted from his shoulders! Time to head to the beach or at least crash on the couch with a stack of long overdue movies to watch! However, once the last piece of cake has been eaten and the last DD gift card has been opened, the question that quickly makes its way into many sleepless nights: “What is next? More schooling? Should I stay at home or move away? Should I work and make money? Which career path should I choose? What is God’s will for my life?”
I remember a hunting trip with my dad when I was young. He left me at a tree stand and said he would come get me at dusk. Dusk turned to dark, and still no dad! The shadows of the tree branches began to make me feel like the hunted instead of the hunter! It was nearly pitch dark before I thought to shoot my gun at a tree to see if I could get a response from him. Sure enough, not long after shooting my gun I began to hear my dad’s voice in the distance, following the noise of the gun. He had gotten turned around and was terribly lost until he heard the gunshot in the distance, letting him know which way to go.
Often when we reach turning points in our lives, we long to hear the “sound of the gun” telling us exactly which way to turn. However, I have found that God actually uses the experience of being lost in the dark woods to shape and teach us about who we are and who He is. Maybe that is why before James (ch. 1) tells us to ask for wisdom, he first tells us that the testing of our faith produces endurance so that we can become perfect and complete. Maybe God’s desire for our sanctification and growth is stronger than His desire to give us the answer. In the meantime, rest in the fact that Jesus does not leave us lost in the woods, but sends us a rescuer who is both generous (James 1:5) and able to lead us safely to His good plan for our lives (Psalm 23:4). Knowing Jesus as a generous and strong Rescuer is absolutely His will for your life!