When God Leads By Obscurity



“What do you want to do with your life?” my mom asked at the dinner table recently. I just started laughing. This was not the first time she’d asked that question in seriousness in recent weeks. I’m seventeen going on eighteen, a senior in high school. It’s past time to decide what’s next.

But the truth is, I have no clue what’s next. Anyone else relate? Yeah, I thought so. Since we’re little, we’re asked what we want to do when we grow up. But now we’re grown up — the time has come to make a decision.

And despite what I thought as a four-year-old, I’m not sure “artist” is what God has for me. At least not a typical artist. One look at my stick figures and you’ll know what I mean.

I know where I want to be in five years. At least, the big picture. I want to have published another few books, serve as a missionary overseas, and perhaps be married or on the way to marriage. I feel God calling me to each of those things.

But I don’t know exactly how He plans to get me there. Indie or traditional publishing? I don’t know. What country? I don’t know. How in the world am I gonna get to know this prince charming? I don’t know. College? I don’t know.

I know some details and some dreams, but not enough. I don’t know what’s next. God is leading me through the wilderness, but I don’t know where I’ll be camping, I don’t know when the pillar of fire is going to move or where it will go when it does.

I’ve been praying and researching, but still nothing conclusive.

But maybe that’s okay. God can lead and we can follow, even if we don’t know what’s in front of us. We can be sitting here, camped in one spot for months, not knowing what’s next. And then one day out of the blue, the pillar of cloud is going to move. We just need to follow God and be faithful in what He has given us and where He has put us. We can explore and try different things and make the best educated guess we can.

Unknowns are hard. I should know. I almost died because of unknowns related to my chronic illnesses. But God knows the unknowns. As Psalm 139 puts it, “all the day ordained for me were written in His book before one of them came to be.” He knows exactly when the cloud will move and its timing is going to be perfect.

It struck me recently how amazing it is that God led the Israelites by a cloud by day. A cloud of all things. Clouds aren’t known for being well-defined. Clouds are known for obscurity. Clouds can be confusing. Clouds can be constantly shifting. But that is one of the ways God chose to guide the Israelites through the desert.

Maybe right now, God is leading you with a cloud. Maybe right now you feel stuck in confusion. Maybe your way forward is obscured. But maybe that’s okay.

Unknowns are hard and scary. But I think God uses unknowns and confusion. Because He knows and He is not confused. Unknowns give us the opportunity to trust and rely on God even more.

I know this is easier said than done. I’m in this with you! But surely of all the unknowns, God is not one of them. He is reliable and constant even in change and confusion and obscurity. He knows the plans He has for us, and those plans are good. We can trust that. We can trust Him.

The question is, will we?

In Christ,




Hello, my name is Sara! I’m seventeen years old, I am a black-mold fighter, and I like to read, write, act, make jewelry, and have adventures. Most of which tend to be with my family whether it’s a long hike up a mountain or a fun new board game. I also write for Th!nk magazine, a free, online, Christian magazine: mythinkmag.wordpress.com. One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 34:5: “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”

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