Devotional by Rachel Campbell
Moving to Los Angeles has brought about many unique experiences. Most of them are great memories and moments that I have tucked into the library of my heart and mind with sweet nostalgia. There are a few instances on this journey that have been a little more traumatizing. One of those moments occurred when I was trying to get to a meeting in downtown LA and the goal was to skip as much stand still traffic on the freeway as possible. I typed my address into Waze and quickly saw the calculation that there was a standstill of cars on the 110 freeway. A smile covered my face when I discovered that an “alternate route” had been selected for me. There is always so much satisfaction when you feel like you have discovered a way to pass up other travelers isn’t there? I suppose I should feel guilty for having no compassion for the hundreds of poor souls stuck bumper to bumper on the roads, but I never do. I love nothing better than to drive past long lines of cars who are unable to move. Back to my story though. I started out following my navigation and yes, I was moving along with only a few traffic lights and slow downs. The next thing I knew, the atmosphere changed and I quickly realized that I was not in my friendly and welcoming neighborhood anymore. I was in fact on a side road in South Central LA. There were no friendly faces smiling at me. Instead, there were very intimidating people who were making it very clear that I was in fact, not welcome and I had the sense that it would be best to quit following my time saving Waze app and just find the nearest freeway to get on no matter what the traffic build up was.
A couple months after this event had taken place, I was with a sweet girl in our congregation who was born and raised in the South Central Los Angeles area. We were traveling to Downtown LA together and as we drove past the area that I had been before, I told her all about my experience. I thought that she would laugh and me, but there was no laughing at all. She looked very seriously at me and said, Rachel, you should NEVER do that! She went on to tell me that there is a gang that runs that exact street and that they have a history of violence against drivers in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thank God for angels. I think I have been issued a few extra angels for all of the “adventures” I find myself in. My friend then began to teach me what to do, how to act and where to go if I ever did find myself in a predicament like that again. Not only did she inform and educate me, but she also knew the safer roads to take in order to skip heavy traffic. Riding with someone who knew the way and cared about my wellbeing changed my entire experience. It gave me the wisdom to do things with a little more clarity and confidence.
This is an entertaining story, but it is also a parallel to what happens in our lives so many times spiritually. God has created us to walk out our faith following Him, the One who already knows the way. He also sets us in relationship with others who can help bring clarity and wisdom to us through the things that they have learned along the way. What a gift we have been given in each other!
Psalm 5:1-3 NLT says, “O Lord, hear me as I pray, pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”
I am so grateful for a God who I can wait expectantly on because He is so good and His plans for all of our lives are good. As much as we can put confidence in an app that navigates traffic, how much more can we confidently look to our God for His perfect plans to unfold for us?
Jesus, I am so thankful that You have every detail of my life planned out. Help me to always look to You with great expectation. In this season leading up to Devoted Conference, I pray that you give me an awareness like never before of what You are wanting to do in and through my life. Thank you for the friendships you have given me that add wisdom and protect me as I follow You. AMEN.