Navigating the Minefields of Life

Have you ever been in the middle of a minefield? If you’re alive and reading this, I’m guessing the answer is “No”. We don’t worry about minefields in the U.S. Most of us have never seen an actual landmine or even think twice about crossing an open field for fear of stepping on a live IED (improvised explosive device). Our closest encounter with landmines is probably contributing tax-deductible funds to the Adopt-A-Minefield Campaign, if that. But believe it or not there are still dangerous areas between North and South Korea, India and Pakistan, and Iran and Iraq where booby-trapped minefields lay in wait. The landmines are indiscriminate weapons set to maim and kill anyone and anything. Even an innocent child who accidently wanders too far off.

Although we haven’t stood on the ground of an actual minefield and can’t comprehend the deathly fear of stepping on a high-powered explosive device, many of us have been in the minefields of life.

Maybe we were caught in an intense battle. Maybe we were playing a little too far from home. Maybe we were going about our business and an explosion nearby revealed the worst. Then or now, the heart pounding realization seizes us. We’re in the middle of a minefield and there’s no marked way out.

Fear grips our soul. We choke back tears as we stand perfectly still. No false moves. We’re not even sure it’s safe to call for help. One wrong step by anyone could shatter our world. Desperation rushes in. What do we do? Where do we turn? Oh, dear God, is this the end? We’re paralyzed.

Mines could be all around us, hidden and ready to blow. We divert our fear by focusing on whose fault it is that we’re here. Did we ignore the signs? Were there any signs at all? Did someone lure us here? We might be temporarily distracted with the blame game, but then reality strangles us again. Only one question remains.

How will we get to the other side?

We don’t have x-ray vision to see what’s hidden. We don’t have superhero powers to fly above harm. In real life, we don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes. We don’t know what other people are doing or thinking. We can’t fast forward through the slow, intense drama that unfolds as we make our way one agonizing decision at a time.

But we have to move. We can’t stay stranded in fear. There is a way out. Forward. How do we figure out what steps to take and when? By seeking the One with the map. God.

The great thing about turning to God is that we may not know where the landmines are in our life, but He does. And if we follow Him through the minefield we’ll come out unscathed on the other side. With greater trust in Him. We need to go where He goes. Step where He steps. And not veer to the right or to the left.

And if we’re prone to wander? We have to learn that in the minefields, discipline is key.

There will be times in life when we’re free to run and laugh and play. But there will be other times when survival is held in the balance. The steps we choose could have grave consequences to us and those we love.

Minefields are hidden throughout our life. Some we’ll walk by without even knowing. Others will catch us by surprise. Be prepared. Walk with the One who knows every peril. Take His map in your hands and let Him reveal the path that brings peace and hope, even in the midst of danger. This is our training ground. This is how we learn to go to Him first and stay in step with Him.

God purposely won’t keep us out of the minefields. But He can and will navigate us through them. He’s ready to show us the way to other side!

“How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of Your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of You; don’t let me miss the road signs You’ve posted.” Psalm 119:9-10 (MSG)

May I pray?

God, many of us know the minefields of life all too well. The intense fear and isolation of those dangerous lands are overwhelming. We don’t know where to turn. We don’t see a clear path. We don’t even know exactly what’s hidden, we just know something is. Father, please open the eyes of those in minefields today and let them see You like never before. Help them to know with certainty the next step to take. Fill them with the power of Your peace. May they move forward in confidence because You know every hidden peril. And Your Word, Your map, will guide them through. Amen.

Q4U: What is a minefield you’ve faced in your life?

 

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