A moth got caught in the house one day. It flew around a bit, looking for a way out. After banging its head on the window pane a few times, it realized that the only way out was to fly though the gap between two panes of glass. Sounds logical, doesn’t it? Except that the gap was less than a tenth of an inch wide and the moth was 3 inches across, wing-tip to wing-tip.

When I saw the moth’s predicament, I tried to give it a hand by sliding the window open. I opened a gap in the window that was a foot wide; but as I was sliding the window open, the gap between the panes became smaller and smaller, till eventually, the panes overlapped.

The moth saw this and became increasingly agitated as the window panes were moving. Fearing that the gap would disappear, which it eventually did, it doubled its efforts in trying to squeeze itself out between the panes, but we all know how futile that is, don’t we?

Again and again, it banged its head against the glass, each time realizing that the gap was diminishing, each time losing hope that it would ever get out of its dire situation, till eventually, it gave up and lay still.

Picking up a stick, I tried to nudge the moth to the other side of the window, the open side of the window, the side which had the foot-wide gap through which the moth could very comfortably and easily fly, the gap I created specifically to let the moth get out of the situation. But you can guess what the moth did instead, can’t you? Yes, it flew right back to the gap between the panes, the gap which it thought was its only way out but had since disappeared.

No matter what I did, no matter how I tried to nudge the moth, it just kept flying back to the gap between the panes. I was starting to get a little frustrated with the moth, wondering why it just plainly refused to take my suggestion; till it hit me, we are like that too, aren’t we?

As we go through life, we meet countless challenges; and each time, we see our desired Eden on the other side, but we just can’t seem to find a way across. It’s like we are kept in by a pane of glass – we know where we would like to go, but no matter how hard we try, we end up banging our heads against a wall.

At that time, we may fly around a bit, survey the surroundings a bit, perhaps even ask a few of our expert peers; till we come to the conclusion that the only way out is through a small gap between two panes of glass.

So we try, we squeeze, we use every trick in the book to try and get through the gap, but the tenth-of-an-inch gap just will not fit our 3 inch wings. Then we get depressed, stop trying, and go to church.

In church, we cry out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Do you not care that I’m stuck in a rut?’

But the response we get is either deafening silence, or our spirit gets led in the exact opposite direction to what we expected, away from where we though the solution ought to be; and we start thinking that we heard wrong.

Or perhaps our environment and situation conspire to lead us, again, in the exact opposite direction to where we thought we ought to be heading, and again, we ignore its leading.

What’s worse is sometimes, the gap that we thought was our only way out becomes increasingly smaller, till eventually, it disappears; and it looks like now we have two panes of glass standing in the way of our desired Eden. But have we ever wondered why, instead of banging our head against the glass, did we not head toward the other side of the window?

You know, the Psalmist said,

“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3

The Lord IS our shepherd. We know this. We memorized this verse even before we understood what it really meant. So why, when we feel his leading, do we insist on heading our own way?

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3

We need to realize that our Father has a stake in our lives. It is in His best interest to look after our best interests; because even if you don’t believe that the moment you accepted Christ as your savior, you became His child; He Himself went and put this in promise in writing,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

So the paths that He is leading you on, the paths that He is trying to nudge you onto, these paths must be righteous paths, because they must and can only lead to the prosperity, hope and future that He Himself has planned for you.

And you know, our Father is not an army general who leads from the front. When He leads,

“He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;” Psalm 23:2

He ensures that refreshment is always around us and we are always kept in His rest, so that eventually, at the end of the journey, we are restored, refreshed, and in a better state than when we first started. So that is why

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

When I looked at the stick that I used to nudge the moth over to the open side of the window, I was reminded of how when Christ guides us, His rod and His staff, they are not there to discipline us, but to gently nudge us along, guiding us on the path that will lead us to where we want to go. And that is why, when we feel His leading, it should be a source of comfort, for by that do we unmistakably know that He is with us.

So do you feel hemmed in? Are you looking at your supposed solution vaporize with the passing wind? Is your gut or your circumstance trying to tell you that you really ought to be looking in the exact opposite direction? Take a lesson from the moth who flew into my home and let the loving, comforting staff of Jesus gently guide you away from that which is futile and lead you into lands that are fertile.

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