Direction versus Guidance

Have you ever thought about the difference between someone giving you direction and someone giving you guidance? 

In Exodus 13:21 we read that God didn't give the children of Israel directions on how to navigate the wilderness.  Instead, He guided them through it.  He went with them.

The LORD went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night.
— Exodus 13:21
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Direction can be quite impersonal.   

For example, we often have difficulty finding a specific location we are looking for in Haiti, so we spend quite a bit of time stopping on the street, asking people for directions.  People are generally incredibly helpful and offer whatever information they have, but we don't exchange our names, our numbers, or any other personal information.  We have met dozens, if not hundreds of people over time who have given us direction.  But we have no relationship with them.  We wouldn't recognize them if we saw them again today.


The night of July 6, however, when I could not get through a roadblock, I spoke with a man in the street as I tried to convince him to let me through the barricade.  He would not allow me through, but we did talk long enough to realize we have mutual friends, and in the end, he guided me to a safe place to park my vehicle so that I could walk the rest of the way to our home in Tabarre.  He went even further in helping me by asking me if I needed him to guide me home and telling bystanders that I was a friend of a friend and they should allow me to pass.

Direction tells us where to go. But often we feel apprehensive, we are unsure if we'll really get to our destination.  Guidance, however, involves walking together, and there's a great deal of trust and assurance knowing we are not alone.

We are currently updating the children's information for their sponsors.  One of the questions we asked the children was "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Some of the children answered as they always have, while others had a new occupation they are interested in.  Some of the jobs mentioned included pastor, translator, singer, teacher, and doctor.

What is our role in this?  It is to walk with them, to guide them, to move toward the destination together. 

Sponsors, you play an important role in this as you encourage the children you are in relationship with to be all that God has created them to be.  We are called to guide them, not just direct them.

Thank you for cards, the letters, the gifts you send to the children.  Mail day is always exciting.  And it's part of guiding the children toward the goal - 

Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
— Luke 2:52