Guard rails exist beside the side of the road for a reason, don't they? They are not decorative. They aren't put kn totally flat,non-winding roads. They are there for our safety...to keep us from gong over the edge into a ravine or a ditch. They come in places of the road where it would be easy to miss just how close to the edge we were without them. We don't always know the "proximity" we are maintaining to the edge in our lives until we begin to bump up against some of the "guards" God places there to keep us safe!
Lord , you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. (Psalms 16:5-8 NLT)
As a kid, I would crawl into the upper bunk in our camper while mom and dad were in the cab of the truck. We'd go rattling down the road in search of a good fishing spot for dad to throw in his line and our drive often took us high up into the mountains. As we traveled further and further away from the valley into these elevated places, the road became noticeably more windy and narrower. The combination of climb, curve, and narrowness made the journey slower, but the reward of cool pines and gentle streams to relax by made it worth it.
As we journey through life, the best places we reach are often the ones that were the hardest, narrowest, and often the most "frightening". There are twists and turns, with sometimes a whole lot of unknowns in the way. At the end we look back and are amazed at the "climb", but in it, we are just concentrating on getting there unscathed! My vantage point as we journeyed was much higher up than my parents. I knew dad saw the guard rails, but I saw the reason for them! The rails exist because God has a much higher vantage point than we do!
We might think the things God places in our lives for our safe-keeping are a little too restrictive, but trust me on this one...his vantage point gives him perfect insight into what could prove to be our undoing if we didn't have those safety "rails" in place. We might chafe a little to stay put within those "rails", but we need to get past that feeling of being 'restricted' and start thinking of it more as being 'divinely protected' from what we cannot fully perceive?
The rails? His Word, the Holy Spirit, other believers, and yes, even some very odd things such as gut intuition. All can serve to keep us safe, but not if we ignore them. I recently drove a long section of winding, narrow mountain roads. The drive was enjoyable because the scenery was terrific, but the twists and turns demanded my careful attention. One thing I always try to do in these places is obey the posted speed limit in those curvy places. Why? Someone who knows the layout much better than I do prepared those warning signs to keep me and my passengers safe.
God often prepares well in advance those things he knows we will need for our safty. Our part is to use them and pay attention to them. In other words, we are obeying the safety signs and staying within the limits of the "guard rails" he provides! Just sayin!