Yet there we were – miles from the car (where the phone and water were) in Florida heat. Two kids pushed ahead, wanting to be done. One kid sat on my shoulders, close to being done.  And one kid sat on the trail behind me, completely done.

It was a day for learning lessons!

And the first lesson – it had to do with maps.

You see, by the time I figured out that the maps on the wooden signs with the “you are here” arrows highlighted two entirely different (albeit similarly shaped) trails than my original handheld map, we had traveled several miles off course and ended up on private property on the other side of the park.

As maps go, there was nothing wrong with the maps on the wooden signs. They just weren’t going to the same place we were, and herein lies the lesson. 

No way can ever be understood by a map intended for another way. Therefore, it makes sense to use the right one.

Now the Bible is a true, living, and inspired map pointing to the Christ who is the Way. Sometimes it says hard things and reads in confusing ways, and that makes it a challenging book for people who want to be culturally acceptable and know a lot. More and more often, I meet Christians who sincerely admire Jesus yet look anywhere but the Bible to understand Him. 

No way can ever be understood by a map intended for another way. Therefore, it makes sense to use the right one.


If, though, I determine that Jesus is the Way and then neglect to consult my Bible to know Him… well, that is as silly as taking the kids to a park to hike a quick butterfly trail, ignoring the rightful map, and following signs that eventually lead me to private property miles away from bathrooms, water, and sanity. Maybe it’s even sillier.

So let’s pick up our Bibles – you yours and me mine – and we will travel this Way together.

Let’s read Genesis and see Him as the Word that spoke the world into existence. Let’s read Exodus and meditate on the Passover Lamb. When we get to 1 Samuel, let’s note (not for the first or last time) that His regard for children is higher than ours. Let’s look inside the fiery furnace in Daniel and remember that He was God With Us well before the manger – but let’s be sure to read about Bethlehem, too, and worship the baby Messiah again. And while we’re in Luke, let’s get speechless with Zacharias for a moment. Then once we’ve got our voice back, let’s go back to Genesis and laugh with old, fertile Sarah.

Let’s read Galatians and thank Him for freedom from sin’s curse, praising Him the way David and Asaph did in the Psalms. Let’s read Colossians so we never forget that He is the Image of the invisible God, and let’s encounter the majesty of that throne room when we read Isaiah and Revelation. Let’s take comfort when we feel small in knowing that He is Alpha and Omega yet “my Lord and my God” for followers like us who are prone to doubt. Let’s wonder for just a moment that His life as the God-Man was so incredible that John supposed “the world itself could not contain the books that should be written about Him.”

Before we let our favorite college course or self-help book start to define us, let’s flip to John and sit at a well with a Samaritan woman, hear Him tell us all we ever did, and receive with awe His command to go and sin no more. Before we let our addictions cover our fears, let’s read Acts and ask His Spirit to. Before we assume that He shares our views about [whatever], let’s read what He has to say, and let’s be sober about our own foolishness when we see Pharaoh’s in Exodus.

Let’s read Hebrews and put down all of the trappings that call us to a million things that we thought were shaped like Jesus because we forgot what He actually looked like. Let’s not be embarrassed about narrow gates and needle eyes and crosses to be taken up. Let’s read 2 Timothy and ask for grace to follow Him all of our days.

No way can be understood by a map intended for another, so let’s open our Bibles again, you and me, and we will travel this Way together.

 

Read more from Jenni Young here.