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God, Our Ultimate Trail Guide - Wholly Loved - Feb. 21

God, Our Ultimate Trail Guide
By Jessica Brodie

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Faint plops of water and the patter of footsteps were all I could hear as I stepped gingerly through the cave, trying not to slip or fall behind. I could barely see my hand before my face, and sporadically I’d touch the smooth stone walls beside me, making sure they were still there. My heartbeat thrummed so hard I knew everyone could hear it.

“Just up ahead,” called our guide. The clutch in my chest loosened.

And then we were stepping into the sunlight, the vista crisp, bright, and so stunningly beautiful it tugged my breath away. My fellow cave-trekkers were grinning, and I could feel my cheeks tighten with a smile of relief and joy. We’d made it.

Isn’t that how our faith journey is sometimes? We plod along, hopeful we’re following God’s path, then something happens and we’re left wondering whether we’ve veered off-course, flying solo. But then comes reassurance in some form or another. Our courage is renewed, our flickering flame restored.

I suppose that’s how God’s people felt when they were about to enter the land God had long promised them after forty years wandering the wilderness. On the plains of Moab, their guide Moses had informed them he wouldn’t be going with them, that leadership would now pass to Joshua. And Joshua himself—how did he feel, knowing he must now take the reins from his mentor and former leader.

But Moses spoke words of comfort: “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8). Joshua and the Israelites pressed on.

Life can be scary sometimes, but God is always with us—even when our leaders fall and our world crumbles, even when it’s so dark we cannot see the light ahead.

The light is before us, and God himself leads the way.

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministry team. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at

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