Getting back on track

Tags: Exploring Missions, Story, US Office

By Tim Hartman, Northwest Mobilizer for SEND International

It doesn’t take much to end up on the wrong path, heading in the wrong direction.  What makes it even more frustrating is when you can see the right path, but you don’t know how to get back to it. 

Living in the Pacific Northwest, my wife and I have taken up hiking. On one such occasion, we had mapped out our hike and knew where we wanted to go. As we ventured into the forest, we started talking and laughing and ended up not paying attention to the trail markings.

Time passed and we kept walking until we realized our mistake—we were on a different trail headed in the wrong direction. The path we wanted was on the other side of a ravine, going the other way, and we couldn’t reach it. We would either have to backtrack and lose time or continue on the current path and hope it soon crossed with the right path. 

We decided to keep walking but got frustrated when we didn’t encounter any crossings.  

We knew where we wanted to go. We had a plan to get there. But somewhere along the way, we got sidetracked and ended up heading the wrong direction.

Isn’t that true in so many areas of life? At certain points in time, we feel God leading us to a particular place and opportunity. But life happens, we get lost in the busyness, and we end up on a path leading in another direction. Then, that moment comes when we realize our mistake. How do we get back to the original path?  

Many of us who feel called to serve the Lord in missions have been there. There was that moment when you felt God calling you to serve him overseas. Then life happens, time passes, and you realize that you are on the wrong trail. How do you get back? Is there a way to get back? Hopelessness may set in as you realize you may have wandered too far for too long.  

Do not despair! Though the Enemy wants to use this against you, God’s call has not changed! He still wants to use you to reach the lost for him! 

Proverbs 3:6 states, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” God is always ready to get you back on his path, once we let go, refocus, and let him take control. Though he is powerful enough to make a bridge for us, it may not be immediate. He may choose to lead us on the more difficult way back in order for reconciliation and healing to take place.  In either circumstance, we know God is faithful, and he will use the circumstances in our lives to teach us and equip us for future service.

What are the issues that are keeping you from getting back on the path that leads to serving him in missions? What are your frustrations? What are your fears? It’s never too late! Pray for God to take control. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. Share with your pastor, a spiritual mentor, or a missions mobilizer, and heed their Godly wisdom. God will use them as they come alongside to speak truth into your life. Remember, “All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies” (Ps. 25:10).