We have a new guest who visits just beyond my privacy fence: a doe is bringing her new fawn to feed outside my neighbor’s fence since they put out corn and a salt block. Evidently the fawn was lost or in distress last evening since I heard bawling. (I looked up deer sounds on the Internet to learn what the sound was.) The sound was unmistakably a distress signal. In my mind, I could envision the mother deer rushing to her “child’s” rescue when I heard the bawling stop.
When we are in distress, like that baby deer whose legs are not strong yet and who doesn’t know the way to the designated resting place, we call a friend or an adult child to ask for his or her input. We look on the Internet for information and instruction. I’m the type of person who buys a book on the subject to learn the ins and outs of a dilemma. Sometimes we are helped and other times, we are seemingly more confused. Finally, we cry out to God—where we ( I ) should have gone first—for help, guidance, and solace.
The wisest person who has lived, Solomon, said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
In these days, we have many people giving us a lot of different information on what to do, how to do it, and when it should be done. How do we know who to believe or who to trust? As widows, this can be very confusing. We read an article with what we think is good information, but the next article tells us that what we learned previously is misinformation. A widow friend told me how very much she misses her husband’s wisdom, since he seemed to be able to sort out misinformation.
Those of us who had wise husbands were truly blessed, but the only One who is fully trustworthy is God. Each of us is human, imperfect, sinful, and make mistakes in what we say and do. The psalmist David said, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8).
I can only imagine what it was like for Jesus’ disciples when He began telling them He would not be with them any longer. Jesus had provided for them, taught them, and was their companion for 3 and a half years. They had left everything to be with Him and serve Him. How could they live without Him? The apostle John even tells us that the disciples were “filled with sorrow” because Jesus told them of His departure (John 16:6). John also gives us some of the instructions Jesus gave these men in distress. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would be with them to “guide [them] into all the truth” (John 16:13).
We have access to the same Holy Spirit that the disciples experienced. More than once I’ve sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to do something or not to do something. When I’ve obeyed, the Lord has worked things out in remarkable ways. When I’ve not obeyed, I’ve suffered the consequences or have been disappointed that I did not obey.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, (John 10:27). May each of us be sensitive to hear what Jesus, our Good Shepherd (John 10:11), is saying to us when we ask for help.