Have you heard the old saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees?” Standing too close can sometimes make us blind to the whole picture. When I was a kid, I would love the back of Highlights magazines when they would have a ‘Guess this Picture.’ They would magnify a small part of an object and you would have to guess what the whole picture was. Some would be pretty simple, but others would stump me. When they would show the entire picture, it would make perfect sense. I think that when we are in the middle of a hard situation, we are blind to God’s working in our lives.
Here in Joshua, God instructed the people to follow about two thousand cubits behind the ark. He told them they weren’t to follow too closely, because they wouldn’t know which way they were to go. Then he followed with these words: “for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” We are going to walk through some dark days. We are going to be faced with situations and circumstances that are puzzling to us. We will be so close to the sorrow or grief that we can’t see God at all. But God knows your situation or trial, and He is reminding you to step back from it so you can see where He is leading. Borrowing from Matthew Henry’s commentary,
While we are here, we must expect and prepare to pass ways that we have not passed before; but in the path of duty we may proceed with boldness and cheerfulness. Whether we are called to suffer poverty, pain, labour, persecution, reproach, or death, we are following the Author and Finisher of our faith; nor can we set our feet in any dangerous or difficult spot, through our whole journey, but faith will there see the prints of the Redeemer’s feet, who trod that very path to glory above, and bids us follow him, that where he is, we may be also. (biblios.com)
Weary heart, He knows that you are about to enter uncharted waters or walk down a path that is unfamiliar. Just know that God is leading the way. He is going before you to make the way known. I find peace in knowing that God is leading the way, even when I cannot find peace in my situation. Just for today, I will step back from my trial and allow God to lead.
Joshua 1-5 Focus verse 3:4