One of the definitions of the word lost from dictionary.com is “having gone astray or missed the way; bewildered as to place, direction.” Have you ever felt that way? Gone astray? Missed the way? Bewildered by where you are, or where you are headed?
I love how in the definition for lost, dictionary.com uses the word bewildered – which means completely puzzled or confused; perplexed. Yes, I have had seasons of bewilderment in my life. These periods have felt as if I were just standing at one point while the world spun by me in a frantic blur.
There have been times in my life when I have truly felt lost. Yet, I knew my exact physical location. I was not missing. There were no search parties trying to determine my whereabouts. I was at home. I was at work. I was at church. I was with my family and friends. I was volunteering in the community.
Yet inside my head and from the depths of my soul I cried out. HELP! I’m so lost! I do not know where I am. I am not clear how I got here. I am not sure which way I’m supposed to go next. Do I go forward? Do I try to go back? To the left? To the right? Do I just stop here? I can not even ask another weary traveler for directions, because I’m not sure where I am going. Then there are the questions with no simple answers. Why am I here? Who am I?
Being lost had a lot of feelings with it. There was disappointment; this is not where I expected to find myself. There was fear; fear that I failed to get to this point and fear that I would be doomed to wander in a lost state for the rest of my life. There was a feeling of being in a great void. It wasn’t a point of great pain or of great happiness. It was more of a feeling of being adrift among small waves; rolling through the motions.
Perhaps you can relate. Have you experienced this? Are you there right now?
Do you know what is absolutely amazing? No matter where we have been, no matter what we have experienced and no matter how lost we feel, God ALWAYS knows exactly where we are. Look what He says in Hebrews 13:5,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.” Romans 8:38-39
We can never be so lost that we are separated from God, from Jesus, from the Holy Spirit and from their love for us. May that bring us such comfort during those lost times as a reminder that we are not alone.
The experience of being lost has happened to me. Perhaps it has happened to you too. We are together in this.
I recently was reading about Solomon and his transition to the position of King of Israel from his father David. My view of Solomon has always been through the perspective of him being the wisest man, a great king and the leader responsible for being a grand temple for God. So reading through the transition of the throne from father to son has opened my eyes to a new view.
Solomon is a man appointed to rule God’s chosen people. What an unbelievable responsibility that must have been. I’ve tried to envision what it would be like to step into that role and to carry forth the nation of Israel following the golden years of David’s reign.
In the beginning of chapter 2 in 1 Kings, David directs Solomon to follow God heart and soul, walking in God’s decrees and commands. Already in chapter 3 of 1 Kings it says that Solomon had married the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt and was offering sacrifices in an improper location.
It had me wondering, did Solomon feel lost? Did he look around and think, how did I find myself here?
Then God comes to Solomon in a dream and says, “ask for whatever you want me to give to you?” 1 Kings 3:5. I love Solomon’s response in verses 7-9, “Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
Solomon cries out to the Lord. He honestly declares that he does not even know where to begin leading God’s people. To the extreme that there are so many people, Solomon can’t even count them. Solomon asks for a discerning heart, for God’s help to know how to make good decisions in his leadership.
Wow! What an awesome example to follow when we are lost, to come before God and ask for a discerning heart.
What I found most interesting about this is that Solomon was asking God to help him do the job he was appointed to. He wasn’t asking God to take away the responsibility or to change the situation. Solomon didn’t ask God to do it for him, but asked God to work through him.
I’m ashamed to say that so many times I’ve asked God to change my circumstances, to give me a new position, or to do something for me that I could do. I realize now how greatly I need to pray that God would give me a combination of wisdom and courage so that I could see God work through the circumstance instead of avoiding it.
God’s wisdom and courage are the dynamic duo that responds to our cries for help and identifies where we are currently. Then they help us determine what decisions need to be made so that we can again be moving in the appropriate direction to reach the destination God has designed for us. No wonder why God says, “turn your ear to wisdom” Proverbs 2:2a.
Where ever we are, no matter how lost we feel, we can cry out to God and ask for wisdom & discernment. We can ask Him for directions. We can be assured and comforted that He knows exactly where we are and where we need to go. We can read the Bible, pray and watch how God makes His goodness come before us. We can fellowship with believers encouraging each other through those periods when we feel adrift in the currents of the world.
God will bring us through it. He will take those feelings of emptiness in our hearts and pour His hope in until it spills over. God’s love will cast out any fears that crowded in upon us. He will grant us peace that passes all understanding about the current circumstance and about our future with Him.
God always knows where we are and always knows our deepest needs.
Dearest and Beloved LORD,
Thank You so much for always being there for us. Thank You for not leaving us or forsaking us. Thank You for caring about the tiniest details of our lives. We can not comprehend how awesome Your love is for us.
When we are lost, when we feel we have gone astray, may we call out to You. May we have confidence that You know exactly where we are even when it feels like the world passes by not seeing us.
LORD, may our prayers contain more requests for wisdom, for discernment and for the courage to carry out the responsibilities that You have chosen for us. May we ask You less to do things for us, but may we ask that we could faithfully move forward for You.
Thank You for always providing and protecting us along every step in our journeys. In Jesus’ name, amen.