Maps

As I boy, I was delighted to discover maps … not the electronic, digital items so popular today, but real, old-fashioned maps printed on paper. I remember drawing my own map of St. Ives, Cornwall, in the weeks leading up to a family holiday there, when I was in my early teens. The pleasure and satisfaction gained from using and drawing maps, determined my planning for a future career and entrance into the Civil Service as a Cartographer and Land Surveyor.

At the same time, during my childhood, my parents introduced me to the greatest map of all time, one which still gives me tremendous joy, fulfilment and direction as I read it every day, many decades later ~

God’s Word ~ The Bible

Over the years, as I have travelled, I have been physically lost in all types of terrain: from mountains to lowlands ~ from deserts to marshes ~ from wild open spaces to deep impenetrable forests ~ from lonely isolated hillsides to dense urban jungles, but on every occasion, I have consulted my maps and worked out my path back to where I needed to go.

Similarly, there have been many times in my life when I have needed both spiritual and physical help and direction when I have been lost, confused and uncertain of the way ahead, not knowing which direction to choose. On every occasion, as I have asked ‘The Lord God, Our Heavenly Father’ for help and looked at the map which He in His grace and love has given to each one of us, His Word ~ The Bible, the Lord has very clearly, without fail, shown me the decision that needs to be made and the direction in which I should choose to go.

The Psalmist writes, Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’ This truth is confirmed many, many times in the Bible and throughout history, as we read the narrative of God’s leadings and dealings with those who look to Him in faith and trust, and also in the many declarations of God Himself.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”

 

“How gracious God will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you.

This is the way; walk in it”

 

“Jesus says, ‘I am the Way’”

The wonderful truth is that Almighty God, our loving, gracious and compassionate Creator, knows what is best for us and what is for our good and blessing. Why is it that so many millions of people today refuse to come and ask God for help? Why do they refuse to acknowledge their debt to Him as their Creator, and ignore all His gracious advances, thinking that they know best saying, ‘No-one is going to tell me what to do!’ Are you one of those people? Is it any surprise that the world is in such a mess if we ignore such grace and wisdom?

The map of God’s Word shows us who we are, where we have come from, where we are now and where we are going ~ disaster awaits all those who ignore or refuse to follow His directions.       

The Psalmist reminds us, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”

“Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”

If I was asked the questions, ‘What is your favourite map and your favourite book?’, the answer would be the same, God’s Word ~ the Bible’, for the Lord has proved to be faithful and true in all His directions.

What would be your answer to those questions?

Ron Brickman