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Dead Ends

Proverbs 16:9 "A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps."

Well, I know I've done it several times and I'll probably find myself doing it several times again. How many of us have turned down a street or road and have hit a dead end? Sometimes we get lucky and see a warning sign but other times we miss it or there is no sign. We have to turn the car around and find a new route to get to our destination. Wouldn't it be so much easier if our paths were always well marked?

Have you ever had an idea about something that you wanted to start for yourself or for your church or friends? Maybe you've decided to do something about your career or a new direction for a career or changing careers or hobbies. Maybe you felt convicted to try something new in sharing Jesus to others. We are meant to grow and expand our lives yet there are times we begin down the path and feel as if we've hit a dead end. All the signs could be pointing us in that direction, opportunities seemed to open and suddenly there is nowhere else to go. Maybe, even things were progressing and running solidly. You see the path clearly and you seem to be succeeding and people are responding then suddenly, as if out of nowhere, the door closes. You're left with ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘now what?’

In those times have you kept trying even if it seems a dead end? Have you kept pushing to see it succeed? There is a saying I have come to like, ‘When God closes the door, don't try going through the window’, now, I'm just as guilty as the next person and I have tried going back through the window. It's taken me many years to learn to let go and accept the end to something I've had my heart set on.

One dead end is not the end of your hopes and dreams. It's just the beginning. If one way fails it doesn't mean you quit and give up. Einstein said it well, “I have failed 99 times but the 100th time came with success.” Edison once said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

One dead end is just an opportunity to turn around and find a new route to God's leading. When I was a teenager, I would tell my dad, “I just don't see another way, or I've tried everything.”

His response always was, “You may have tried everything you can think of, but God still has 1000 more ways He has thought of.”

And that's the truth of it. Our dead ends are never God’s ends. Maybe one door closes but the idea is still there. Maybe God is saying, not this path, let's get you on the right path to further your ideas and My plans. Rerouting is never fun, at times takes more of our time but letting God lead is always a great way to go. Your success is His success, and He wants to see you grow and expand.

I have a friend who is looking at losing their business after years of working at it. Their response is not of anger or worry. They have simply said, “I am sad, but I also can't wait to see what God has planned next, for me.”

No matter if our ideas work or crumble. If we have to find new ideas or shift ideas, when we fully trust God's leading, we need to be excited to see the plans God has next for our lives. Dead ends, doors closed, rerouting, new directions. None of that matters when we fully put our trust in God and continue to seek to do His will. He will lead in the right way, all we need to do is listen and follow.

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