"The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous" (Psalm 11:4-5a).

Learning to drive in our homeschool driver's education class looked much different than the normal driving class most young people attended. Dad's job was to teach our children the laws and rules for operating a vehicle, but what he truly enjoyed was instructing them in driving safely. During his instruction, he showed our children how to steer back onto the road if one wheel slipped onto the shoulder, how to stop in an emergency without locking the brakes (this was before anti-lock brakes), and his favorite — how to drive in icy conditions.

Since our state had long winters, he especially focused on driving on icy roads. He took our children to a huge, abandoned parking lot and put the car into a spin (this resembled the effect of hitting a patch of ice on the road while driving). The panicked look that appeared at first on each of our children's faces was slowly erased as he showed them how to gently steer into the skid to correct the car's out-of-control path. Over and over they would practice this skill until it was mastered. Many years later, my oldest son's life was saved from a serious accident because of his father's thorough instruction.

Our heavenly Father's teaching methods in learning how to live safely in His care also involve repeated lessons. His Word says that He tests and tries us to refine us like gold (Proverbs 17:3). When our poor choices cause self-induced problems, our lives go into a skid. Gently, He shows us how to turn back to His Word to find the answers we need to straighten our out-of-control path. Whether we have allowed ourselves to overspend, overeat, overwork, or participate in ungodly activities, God is able to teach us how to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us safely back to Him. God's ultimate goal for us is to pass His driver's course and enjoy the freedom and safety of living in Jesus.

Is your life out of control? Are you off the straight and narrow path and headed for the ditch? If so, let the Lord take the wheel and gently steer you back to where you should be. Your very life may depend on it! "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live" (Hebrews 12:9)?

Father, forgive me for making so many choices that have put me on this path of destruction. Take my life and straighten me out before I cause more pain to You, myself, and others. In Jesus' name, Amen.