“ I can’t find Him because He knows the road I take. When He tests me, I’ll come out as pure as gold. I have followed His footsteps closely. I have stayed on His path and did not turn from it.”
In the Sahara Desert, following someone’s tracks is not easy! When the imprint of the footsteps or tire tracks of the one you are trying to follow is in shifting sands, it can be impossible at times. Driving between the Saharawi refugee camps can be quite the adventure. There is no “road”… just that incredible sea of sand. Often the driver is literally leaning out of his open door (while the vehicle is moving!) to find tracks of those who have gone before us. The landscape is largely all the same, so there are not trees or buildings or road signs (or roads for that matter) to identify the way ahead. Actually arriving at our destination is a reward in itself.
God doesn’t make it easy for us to find Him. There is often a great struggle or pain or failure before the Path becomes clear. He doesn’t make it easy, but after all, the Path along which He will walk with us is not easy, either. So it is no surprise that the Path to meet Him is also difficult.
Job (the writer here) had incredible hardship on the Path he walked with God. He literally lost everything. His wealth, security, family, friends, . . . everything was gone. And he had been a very good man. But through all of that, he continued to pursue God. At his lowest point, all he had to cling to was that belief in God Himself. Job found God to be worth the pursuit. He had not waited until disaster hit to know Him. . . follow Him . . . prioritize Him in his life. Job didn’t blame God for the disasters he had been through, because He knew Who God Is. So when everything fell apart in his life, he already knew the One to Whom he would have to cling.
I have tasted some of what Job lost. Many times, I wondered if I would ever be able to “breathe” again after losing my husband. Would I survive it? . . . did I even want to survive it. But there was never a question in my mind of Who I must hold on to. Hanging out of the old battered truck that had been my life, I had to focus on the shifting sand around me, searching for His Footprint. And I would always, always spot it. Just enough to assure me that He was there. I was not lost. I was not hopeless. I just had to spot the next Footprint and follow it. Step at a time. Moment at a time.
In those times, turning back is not an option. Stopping and settling there is not an option. Life depends on watching for His Print, and moving forward as it sets the direction, step-by-step. There is just enough evidence of His Presence that I know He is going ahead of me.
And I can follow that.