I’m a small-town girl from the beautiful island of Grand Bahama. I currently live in Dallas, Texas, where it really does seem like everything is bigger, especially the streets. In the Bahamas most of our streets are two-way streets, so there are no multiple lanes of traffic to navigate. Also, our speed limit for most roads is 45 mph; although, I admit, we do take liberties with that speed.
Life on my island moves much slower than here in the big city. Where I lived on the island was less than a 10-minute drive to the school I taught at and getting caught in traffic meant reaching work in 15 minutes instead of less than 10. While I had visited different states in the United States many times, I had never driven on their streets until I moved to Texas. Driving on the right side of the road instead of the left took some getting used to. However, dealing with multiple lanes of traffic, busy highways, and sky-high overpasses still make me more than a little nervous.
Living in another country means I’m always happy when I get the news that family will be visiting nearby. So when my cousin called to say that she and her husband were visiting Dallas, my sister and I decided to spend some time with them. After a lovely visit, we left the hotel where our family guests were staying. My sister and I were laughing and talking as I carefully pulled my car into the street. A few minutes later, I realized that something felt different. I noticed that all the cars were zipping past me at 100 mph.
I panicked when I realized that I had driven straight into a problem. Somehow my GPS, which is always set to “no highways,” had let me down. I usually avoided highways like the plague, preferring the slower pace roads even if it made my trip longer. So there I was driving down Interstate 35 doing 45 – 55 mph while everyone else sped by me. I whispered a quick, “Jesus, help me,” as I increased my speed to keep up with the flow of traffic around me.
The mood in the car changed from lighthearted laughter to panic. I could hear my GPS giving me instructions. However, I ignored its direction to turn left because I was afraid to change lanes at such a high rate of speed. I continued driving as the GPS recalculated again and again. Eventually, I felt confident enough to follow my GPS’s directions one at a time, and I finally got us safely to our destination. I parked the car, relaxed my death grip on the wheel, turned to my sister and said, “Thank God, we made it, and we’re still alive!” We both started laughing relieved that our highway adventure was over.
My accidental highway adventure can easily be an illustration of my life. I am a cautious person by nature. There are times when I feel the Holy Spirit nudging me to step out of my comfort zone and do something that is uncomfortable. Unfortunately, sometimes He has to give me an extra push before I obey. It’s sad really. It is so much easier to stay in the easy places, doing things that don’t scare or challenge us. However, that is not how God wants us to live. He wants us to leave the safety of the familiar and venture to the margins of unfamiliar territory. These are the places where our faith in Him is tested and we cling to Him tighter.
It’s in these uncomfortable places where we are more open to God’s voice because we know that we can only depend on His strength. Just like the GPS, we listen to His directions and obey each one at a time. The main thing to remember when God nudges us to leave the familiar places is that we can depend on Him! He will not call us out and then leave us stranded with own devices. God will be there to guide us safely to our destination. Click To Tweet
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).
Heavenly Father, I want my faith in You to be stronger. When You tell me to leave the comfort of the familiar territories and venture into unknown places, I want to obey without doubt. Show me how to listen to Your direction one step at a time.
Is there an area of your life that causes you stress or fear? How can you lean into God and really trust His prompting and direction? Find someone today that you can be a signpost of God’s guidance today, encouraging them to trust instead of fear.
Bernadine Zimmerman is a work in progress whose desire is to live a life that honors God and to tell others of His love for them. She is from a small town on the beautiful island of Grand Bahama but moved to the big city of Dallas, Texas, in 2015 after marrying her husband, Mark. Bernadine is a quietly opinionated bookworm who also loves to write. She can often be found curled up in her favorite chair reading or jotting her thoughts down in one of her many journals.