Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, you’re just kinda bumping along through life? You’re doing good for a bit, then bump. You get back on your feet, then bump. Each bump sends you in the other direction. A little too far this way, bump. Move on, then a little too far the other way, bump. And you know, the next bump is coming. The truth is, you don’t really know what you’re doing, you’re just bumping along.
Do you understand why you’re bumping? Because God has guardrails set up to protect his girl! God, in all of his wisdom, knew you wouldn’t always get it right, so he has placed guardrails all along the path he has for you. All he asks is that you keep moving forward. He never required you to do it perfectly. His guardrails have been strategically placed to guide you along the way.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 “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.”
This doesn’t say, “figure out exactly how to do it, then make it perfect”. It doesn’t say, “it’s all up to you to get from where you are to where you’re supposed to go.” It certainly doesn’t promise it’s going to be easy or without bumps.
You’re not supposed to know exactly how to do this. You’re not supposed to know how to accomplish that 5 year plan. In fact, if you think you know, God says DON’T COUNT ON IT! That’s what “lean not on your own understanding” means. Don’t count on what you know and how you think you’re supposed to do this. Trust God through every bump. These bumps up against the guardrails are God’s way of guiding you.
Making your paths straight doesn’t mean making them perfect, it means showing you the right path and making it possible to stay on that path. It means bumping along, but moving forward.
Honey, are you still moving forward, or have you allowed all these bumps against the guardrails to discourage you? You might be looking at others thinking they’ve got it all figured out while you’re a holy hot mess with one bump after another, but I promise you, every single one of us that are still trying are still bumping! But you know what, because we haven’t given up, God is allowing every bump up against his protective guardrails to propel us forward on the path he has for us.
Paul wrote in Philippians 3: 12-14 MSG ” I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
This is a man with a past of being on a tragically wrong path. This is a man who pursued Christians for their head! And now, God has put him on the right path with guardrails to protect him from falling off too far one way or the other, and he is moving onward. Paul’s simple obedience to move onward created nearly half of the New Testament. Some of my favorite books of the Bible are credited to Paul; Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy …”
All of this goodness from a man who was once on the wrong path, saved by the amazing grace of Jesus and set on a new path, then bumped his way right along simply taking the next step.
Now, what in the world could God do with a girl like you? What could God do in your life if you too would decide you’re off and running and not turning back? Where could God take you if you received the bumps in life as divine guardrails to redirect you, instead of discouraging proof that you’re not good enough?
There it is, Sis! Every time you’ve bumped up against these guardrails put in place by your loving Creator to guide you, you’ve been getting discouraged. You’ve been receiving it as some sort of punishment instead of protection. You were stopped back there because God had something on up here for you. It’s okay that you’re bumping your way along, that’s how God guides you on down the path.
Now, as long as you keep moving onward and don’t turn back, God will use every bump to the left and every bump to the right to push you along the path he has for you.
Have you ever had a job come to an end? What a disappointment. Oh girl, what a guardrail! I was once fired from a job, not because I wasn’t good enough, but because God’s guardrail said ‘that’s as far as I want her to go here, now I’m going to bump her to keep her moving along my best path for her life.’ Without that guardrail I came bumping into causing me to consider my true calling in life, I would have likely continued on with that steady paycheck, never taken a risk, and been completely off track. But instead, God lovingly and graciously let me bump up to his guardrail where my own good plans were taking me, and he guided me down a path to step into HIS GOOD PLANS.
Who’s plans are better? Ours’ or God’s? Well, I know I’m not leaning on my own anymore because God has proven his plans are indeed as Jeremiah 29:11 promises, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Those plans include guardrails, and you’re going to bump into them.
Girl, bump your way along through life. There’s no shame in that game. That means you’re moving forward. That means you’re not standing still and growing stagnant. That means you’re on the right path, and God is keeping you on that right path.
Go ahead and bump into that stranger and let God amaze you with his divine connections. Bump on into that closed door and instead of getting discouraged, grow hopeful that God is using it to propel you in the right direction. Don’t go back, you keep moving forward. God has good plans for you ahead, and his guardrails are sure to protect you to the left and to the right. Bump on, girlfriend.
Dare to try it and see it didn’t work. Dare to show up and sometimes be let down. Dare to run hard and realize you didn’t get far. This is the entire journey of your life. Don’t be discouraged by it. You’re bumping your way down a divine path leading to something greater than you could ever imagine. Bumping isn’t God’s punishment, it’s his providence.
I bet you and I bumped into one another, didn’t we? You were just moving along then, boom … there we were connected for purposes we didn’t even know about yet! How delightfully divine!
Lift your eyes, sweet girl, this latest bump may have been a real blow, but it was perfectly placed by a loving Creator who wants to show you off in Heaven! Don’t be discouraged here. Don’t dwell here. Move forward and know you were just protected from something you were never aware of.
Thank you God for every single bump, we’re running on and not turning back!
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