THE LONG ROAD
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. Isaiah 35:8 NIV
Long roads do lead to somewhere. Long roads can be adventurous. Long roads, can be, well, long.
We have one such road nearby in Copperopolis (as an aside, isn’t that a delicious name?). This road is not miles upon miles long, but it is long because at the top of the first hill, you can see all the way through to the end as it makes its way upon and down long gentle hills and valleys. It’s a roller coaster but at a much slower pace and cows are the watching audience. It’s as if a roller coaster got stretched out and it became a country road.
Life can sometimes be like this road. We may be able to see the end of the road, but in between there are many hills, valleys and spectators along the way. Potholes too. Detours, construction and cattle crossings. Yellow lines run down the middle and with a country road, these roads can be in the middle of nowhere but do connect eventually to another road, even if it's just a tiny dirt one.
Suffering is a long road. Even if the suffering is short-lived, each moment is felt causing the short to become long.
Since I am at the 3-year mark with Coach, and 3 years eight months with the injury, I have been thinking about this a lot. I am done. I am beyond ready to be done. I am over being confined to my room when at home (which is most of my days). I am over wanting to be on this road. I’ve got my E ticket for another ride, and I am desperate to use it.
Highway of Holiness
But God has other plans. He desires for me to stay on this Way of Holiness because He is doing a work in me. He doing road work on me too. Under construction for bad behaviour, potholes and a new yellow line needs to be painted so I don’t wander.
Roads are designed by a civil engineer. Mastered planned, with other roads and communities in mind. Roads are not an after-thought, but well thought-out. God has my road mapped out for me, and His design is perfect for making me perfect and like His Son.
My road has included suffering. Others are on roads which don’t have suffering, but do have other seeming road hazards. God is a Master civil engineer and He is very good at His job.
“But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:14 NLT
This verse is part of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, with many ‘new’ teachings to the listening audience of the day, and to us now, 2000+ years later. We are not left to wonder, wander nor get lost, but are given a roadmap on how to live and Who to follow.
Yes, the road is narrow, and only a few find it. And at times it is difficult. I am thankful Jesus gave us the warning because it would have been tough to expect rainbows and lollipops when all along hardships, thorns and snares were in the roadway.
Some of us stumble onto these long roads, while others knew about them ahead of time. Some of us knew the options, and still chose. As we know, life is about choices and God is not a puppeteer. He is a loving Heavenly Father and He guides us in those choices. In the midst of the choices we choose, He continues to supply the grace, faith, mercy, love and more of what we need to get us to the other side.
While traveling on this road, let us not ask, “Are we there yet?”, or even pick fights with our siblings. Let us instead look out the window to admire the view and see what is up ahead, to the next hill or bend. Let us enjoy the moments and enjoy our traveling companions. Let us embrace the quiet, or the hillbilly songs playing full blast. Let us hold on and let Jesus be our Guide.
Father God, I do thank You for the road You have planned for me. I am choosing to embrace it and look for You along this road - the joys, the triumphs, the peace, love and grace You give to me each step of the way. I do thank You for being concerned about my holiness and that Your grace is sufficient for me. In Jesus's Name. AMEN