[notice]A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.[/notice]
The Word says in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision people perish but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
Since 1990 I have been living with short sightedness. My highschool teacher, Mrs Robb, saw that I struggled with seeing things clearly on the board when I sat far from it. She suggested that my parents take me to an optometrist and sure enough the optometrist told me that I was short sighted and would need to wear glasses. At first I didn’t know what that would mean in terms of my day-to-day life but when the glasses, MY glasses, came they were so thick that I absolutely hated wearing them to school and being seen in them by other kids. I wore them for a short while before (thank God) it was suggested that I try out contact lenses! I cannot tell you what those two small things did for my self-esteem and for my eyes. Before wearing contacts I had limited vision. I could only see things that were really close to me. I had no problem with reading but when it came to watching television, reading from the board, reading road signs and posters on the road and on shops I had a problem.
As a family we travel a lot. Sometimes it is just Rest (my husband) and me travelling and at times we take the kids. The days before we leave is always a time of great excitement, especially for the children.They cannot stop talking about where we going; who and what we are going to see.
On the road we may be enjoying our journey — enjoying the drive,the laughter, the music and the fellowship — when all of a sudden the car slows down and we find ourselves keeping quiet as we realise that we are driving through mist. My husband almost always says he needs my help to see the road ahead. While he concentrates on driving I look out for cattle, dogs and other things that might be on the road. I help him “see.” I have noticed that in mist, rain and thunder most cars reduce their speed. At times though I have been taken aback at seeing some cars speed through the mist. The ‘arrive alive’ campaign constantly warns motorists to be cautious when driving through these weather conditions which are conducive to accidents and road fatalities.
As much as we can judge motorists who drive irresponsibly on the road; the motorists who speed through the mist and the rain as much as we can take out our K53 Rules book to show them their faults; how many of us do the same in life in how we handle the situations in which we find ourselves? How many of us put our families through “danger” by moving fast in how we proceed without having thought out the decisions that we make?
There are many people who are in a rush. We live in a world where people, in general, do not have patience. We want results yesterday and now. “Proceed with caution” is something most people do not want to hear. We do not listen to the warning signs of life. Many people because they want to go to better paying jobs leave their families in the rural areas to go to the cities. Some have left their spouses and children saying they are pursuing money in other lands. Marriages end in divorce because one spouse goes for “greener pastures” How many children have been/ are raised by the grandmothers because the parents have left home?
Consider your family and marriage
These changes, on the road of life come because at times they are necessary. No one warns us of the road ahead and no one comes with a “Proceed with caution! Reduced visibility ahead sign”. Always ask yourself if the change; the next step in the road; is really good for the family and especially for the marriage. We know of so many marriages that have ended just because spouses did not proceed with caution during the times when the road of life ahead was a bit foggy and life was screaming at them through the thunder and the rain.
If you cannot see where you are going, proceed with caution! You cannot remain stuck in one place but do not do things hastily without getting a clearer vision. There are many lives that will be affected by your decision to just do things without getting the facts. Yes, by all means go if you are told by God to leave, as in the case of Abram who was told by the Lord to “Leave your native land and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you… (Genesis 12:1). For most of us we cannot say that we have left our families at the command of God. In the case of Abram the “leave your family” did not include Sara. Abram went with his wife. They faced the challenges ahead together. God did not break this family apart.
Did you ask God if it was the right time to leave your job; to leave town…? It is very important as families to seek the Lord’s guidance. He knows our end from our beginning. He loves us and more than we could ever do and wants the very best for us and our families.
He will direct your paths
The Bible says: Do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. He will direct you in the storm. He will guide you and your family out of the most trying times where you do not know what to do. God is faithful and He is all-powerful and all-knowing. He knows what you need to do! He has a way of giving you peace right there in the storm. When there are dark clouds surrounding you and you do not know a way out; when the road is misty and you cannot see clearly the Lord will be there for you. Lean on Him. Seek His face. When you are facing those storms of life; when you are going through the storm you want to say without a shadow of doubt that God is with me; for me. He is the one who directed me and therefore I will not fear. You will know the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding. It will envelop you. You will know that you have the strength to endure to be and to do all that He has called you as family to do. If you know that you pushed your own thing you will feel alone without the support of the Holy Spirit. You will be putting your family in danger.
We hear everyday how a whole family; how two or three people died in an accident. Causes of accidents vary but more often than not an accident is caused by drunken driving and blurred vision. When a driver is intoxicated they do not know where they are going. When a driver cannot see ahead because of mist the driving becomes difficult.
A dad loses his job; a pregnant wife loses her unborn child and you do not know how you will cope as a family. A dear family member passes on; a tragic event happens in your family; you do not get the business deal that will have made such a difference in your finances as a family; the funds are taking a long to come through; you do not know how you will deal with the misty challenges of life.
Move on; carry on; the mist will disappear and you will have clear skies again. Do not be disheartened; God knows your situation and He will send you angels to help you through your darkest times. On the road you will find yourself having to navigate through dark periods where you do not know how you will pull through but be of good cheer because He knows the way. The Lord has promised to be with you through it all. He said to Joshua when he was fearful of the task ahead of leading Israel: “Do not fear for I am with you wherever you go”.