“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Guest Writer: Cathy Slusser
A few years ago, I travelled with my friend, Vicki, to Michigan where we attended a weeklong craft workshop. We stayed at a church camp in cramped dorms, sleeping in bunk beds and using a restroom down the hall usually showering in cold water. Not my idea of fun.
At the end of the week, Vicki wanted to visit the grave of a dear friend who had recently died. Vicki drove the rental car and knew Ann Arbor well so it was literally out of my hands which way we would go. I was just along for the ride as we drove through the gates of a huge historic cemetery.
Ordinarily, visiting an old cemetery is something I enjoy but this particular day, I was tired, hungry and cranky. After a week of living in a dorm and eating cafeteria food, all I wanted was a meal, a nice quiet room and some rest. I did not want to tramp around a cemetery (did I mention it was raining?) looking for a grave of someone I never met. Because Vicki had not been able to attend her friend’s funeral, she did not even know where to begin. All she knew was that the grave was in a corner near the woods. That was no help because woods surrounded the entire cemetery which was laid out in a circle. Additionally, she had been told that the grave was so new it did not have a permanent marker only a tiny metal plate identifying the site.
I almost said, “I will wait in the car,” leaving Vicki to comb the cemetery alone, but I felt obligated to at least make a halfhearted effort to help. That is what I was doing when a family of deer raced in front of us, down the road and into a small area near the back of the cemetery. Distracted from my irritation, I followed the deer only to discover that they stood right on top of the grave we were looking for.
As she wept over her friend’s gravesite, Vicki stammered, “I prayed that God would lead us here. And look, he sent the deer to show us the way.” My crankiness gave way to humility. If I had voiced my selfish desires and prevented Vicki from searching for her friend’s grave, we would have missed what became a profound spiritual moment for us both.
Read Proverbs 3:5-12. How do the characteristics of one who trusts God and one who is wise in His own eyes differ? Which describes you? Are your selfish desires interfering with someone else’s search to find God? How can you get out of the way through obedience and sacrifice?