Being Guided Along Unfamiliar Paths

blog encouragement new year overwhelmed temptation Jan 13, 2021


A new year hasn’t brought as much change as I’d hoped it might as we came to the end of a hard 2020. What has been your experience? I can’t think of anyone who predicted a year ago what we would be facing and experiencing today. Sometimes I feel like a blind man being led somewhere I’ve never been. Does that sound familiar?


That’s why I was so helped when I recently read one of the prophecies of Isaiah that said something along the same lines:


I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,

            along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;

I will turn the darkness into light before them

            and make the rough places smooth.

These are the things I will do;

            I will not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16


How do I come to a place where I am able to connect again with the life, joy, reality and goodness of these words of God?


Pray this prayer with me:


Lord, have mercy. Open my blind eyes. Open my deaf ears. Grant that it might be the new me created in Christ who listens to what you say. Grant that I might be nourished, refreshed, restored and renewed by what I read here in Isaiah.


I welcome your leading me by ways I have not known up until now. I welcome being led along unfamiliar but good paths. May that which has been dark for me become light at your touch. May that which has felt rough become smooth for me by grace. May I feel unforsaken. Forgive me for those ways in which I have sought what I need from someone or something other than you.


When you feel like you haven’t been in a place like this before, it may be because you actually haven’t. And the good news is that what overwhelms me does not overwhelm Jesus. He is bigger than the things that feel too big to me. And his is bigger inside me.


I carry within me a participation in the divine nature. God is making himself at home in me. Trusting this helps me see where I’ve been blind, helps me hear where I’ve been deaf, helps me make my way where I’ve been lame. Because the Lord is leading us, even when the way seems too hard, too rough, too steep.




  • When you read those lines in Isaiah, is there one in particular that seems to be especially timely for you? Which one? How does it intersect with your experience today?
  • When you are overwhelmed, are you tempted to see that as evidence that God is no longer with you? How might the words of Isaiah be encouragement and help to you right here?


Photo by Yasong Zhou on Unsplash