Have you ever faced an event for which you were unprepared? Each of us have taken a pop quiz in school without the benefit of preparation. Some children, though, are raised in homes where there is little or no instruction for life. They never know what’s coming and what the experience will be like; whether it’s the first day of school, a trip to the doctor or dentist, or getting their tonsils taken out unexpectedly. The result of living without instruction is that they are perpetually unprepared. Anxiety is their bedfellow. It appears that most every person around them lives carefree in comparison to themselves. Others seem to know what to do next while they are frantically trying to figure it out. There is no confidence from parental involvement.
While my parents were wonderful to provide for our physical needs, emotional needs were ignored. Not intentionally. They weren’t cruel people but neither of them were able to give my sister and myself what they never received. That’s the truth behind the behavior of every person. Without Jesus, we can not give away what we have not first experienced ourselves. In our house, we were never taught how to live life. Not knowing how to navigate events was hard enough but even more dangerous was the absence of teaching about understanding people. How do you handle a bully? How do you handle a conflict? How do you handle the loss of a grandparent? How do you handle money? How do you handle the minefields of adolescence? All of these common life experiences had to be dealt with the best way a child knew how.
God is not an absentee parent. He doesn’t adopt me into His family, hand me the Scriptures, and then tell me to do the best I can. He is as engaged as I need Him to be. King David, all through the Psalms, praises God for His instruction. The Hebrew concept for ‘giving instruction’ is what happens when you shoot an arrow at a target. The arrow is aimed with a target in mind and it penetrates the very spot for which it was intended. God is a Father who brings targeted instruction in the very area I ask for it. In prayer and meditation, He is specific. “Go here, not there. Do this, not that.” I never need to figure out anything on my own. His intimate involvement in my life heals all former abandonments. His Word comes like a strategic arrow.
Every child at one time or another has thought of packing his bags and leaving home. What would happen? He’ll end up on the streets with a small backpack and the stuff of life will require him to cope the best way he can. This orphan-like existence is not to characterize any child of the King. Listen to this testimony from Psalm 119. Oh, how I love all you’ve revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long. Your commands give me an edge on my enemies; they never become obsolete. I’ve even become smarter than my teachers since I’ve pondered and absorbed your counsel. I’ve become wiser than the wise old sages simply by doing what you tell me. If you are one who has lived without instruction, live in scriptures like this one and be sure to engage the 2nd birth agent….the Holy Spirit. Ask the Spirit to breathe over you so that you become fully assured that He has Your back and is taking care of you if you ask for guidance.
I’m on the road of life, with You, and You’ve got me by the hand. Amen