When I saw the ladies at our table bow their heads, I lowered mine.  Betty prayed aloud, closing with  “and dear Lord, help us let You stay in front.”

            I remained sitting, wondering her intent.  Betty looked at me and smiled, explaining, “Sometimes I look over my shoulder and say, ‘Come on, God, keep up with me!'”

            Her words set my mind in motion.  I recalled many times when, as a child, I ran in front of Mom and heard her warn me, “Don’t run ahead of me.  You might fall and hurt yourself!”

            How often have I run ahead of God!  And just as often, I fall.  He picks me up and sets me on my way, hoping I have learned a lesson.

            How different it would be if I would let God stay in front!  If I could wait for His leading before jumping ahead with my plans, speaking without thinking, crying about fears that often do not materialize, or interfering in my children’s lives instead of letting God teach His lessons.

            The same day I heard Betty pray, my friend was diagnosed with cataracts.  She ran ahead and worried about losing her job due to losing her eyesight and all of those repercussions.  I offered her the comfort from Betty’s words.

            Some days later, my daughter heard that her child fell off a swing at school.  She ran ahead to fear the worst before hearing the complete story of no broken bones.  I told her of Betty’s prayer.

            And then Douglas and I heard the doctor tell us that Douglas had cancer.  I ran ahead and agonized about how this would turn out, and what would we do?  Then I remembered Betty’s plea and I shared it with Douglas.  He assured me that we would do just that.  We would wait and let God lead.  We would pray fervently for healing, but ask also for God’s will, and for opportunities to share the gospel with visitors and show a positive example.

            So many gray hairs are whitened in the rush to get ahead of God.  When my “if onlys” started, Douglas reminded me that God knew what He was doing, so “Let Him lead!”

            God chose to take Douglas home, and I was reminded of Isaiah 57:1-2.  “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.  Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.”

            Perhaps God sent Betty to me that day because He knew I would need her prayer.  I suppose most of us want to lead our own lives, plot our own way.  I am not a good follower.  I want to take charge.  I am not so good at “wait and see.”  But I’m learning.

            As this is the first of a new year, I have set a goal of following Christ better.  Leaving Him in front will curtail my worries, as I count on promises like “it will go well with you,” and “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

            I want to have enough faith to really believe that and rely on it!  Following behind the Lord, waiting for His guidance, and verbalizing Betty’s prayer will help me trust in God’s leadership.  That consistency will place obedience in the way I live.


                 Joyce Broyles is a student of the Bible and resides in Jennings, LA.