We all enjoy talking about the sovereignty of God, and sometimes we even enjoy it too much when we are talking with those brothers who happen to disagree with us on it. But how much do we believe it? How strongly do we believe it?
“Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, ‘The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.’ So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer” (Ezra 8:21-23).
As Ezra’s example makes dear, for eons the saints of God have been seeking His protection as they travel. We instinctively look to Him for our safety as we travel. But there is more to it than this—we also should seek His rest as we go. In order to do this properly, we must act upon the Word. Much more is involved than a little pious whitewash—”Don’t worry. .. be happy.” Okay. Why? We should seek traveling mercies, but why?
Our Lord never blinks; He never looks away from us. The Bible is explidt about this generally, and we also find scriptural statements of His knowledge concerning our travel.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Prov. 16:9). Never fall into the trap of woulda, shoulda, coulda. Shouldn’t have taken that exit. Shouldn’t have turned left. “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways (Ps. 139:1-3).
And this principle is not altered when your kids are the ones driving. We are told not to test God, but rather to trust Him. For reasons that are generally not very good, we prefer not trusting Him, but rather testing Him.
He is the Lord of the weather also, and that affects traveling conditions. The weather does not “just happen.” The weather always comes to us from the hands of God. “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet” (Nahum 1:3).
Jesus teaches the same thing: “For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45).
Someone might cry out, “Oh, why did it happen this way!” God tells us who is the one responsible. “I also withhold rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered” (Amos 4:7).
The Lord knows the kind of world we live in, and understands all the variables that go with our travel. He has not told us to master all the variables. (We would have to be omniscient to do so!) He has told us to trust Him, with evidence of our obedience to the clear principles He has set forth in His Word. One of them is this—“Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Eph. 5:24). This includes decisions about going or staying.
But God is also Lord of our attitudes. The standard by itself brings no power to keep the standard. The law brings no power to keep the law. God grants us grace to obey His Word and keep His standards. Look at one of the great passages on the subject of anxiety.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7).
Given all this, we may take great comfort in the fact that God is with us, and that the Lord is good to us. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” (Psalm 34:7). And this is why we can always trust in the Lord of the slippery roads.