This weekend, I started what should have been a fairly simple introductory course about collecting and examining Internet traffic. It should have been so simple that I'd breeze through it without thinking.

Then I came to the fourth question in the third quiz within the course: What is a dimension? Even with only four options to pick from, I couldn’t differentiate a dimension from the 50 or so other vocabulary words the lessons had already thrown at me.

I was brain-locked. I wanted to quit right then and there. Don’t even look at question five, let alone six or seven.

New journeys can be like that. What we thought would be easy turns out not to be so. New efforts often require overcoming a learning curve of new terms and skills. Sometimes that curve is so steep it can lead us feeling stuck and hopeless.

It happens often with vulnerable families Buckner serves through its Buckner Family Hope Centers. Parents want better lives for themselves and their families. With the help of Buckner coaches, they even construct practical plans. Then the journey begins and obstacles are encountered. Sometimes those obstacles are so daunting families want to give up. Just like I did Saturday night.

The Israelites also faced a daunting journey as they left Egypt to go to the Promised Land. They wandered for 40 years in the wilderness and Moses was told he would not step foot into the land God would provide them. They had plenty of reasons to give up.

Moses encouraged the Israelites to press forward as leadership transitioned to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:8: “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.”

God is with you. He will never leave you on your journey. He is strengthening you and paving your way. May you sense his presence on your journey this week.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get a notepad and a pen. I have a journey of my own to get back on.

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