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  • Writer's pictureKerry Sue Teravskis

WHEN THE ROAD GETS LONG




Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.  Proverbs 4:25 NIV

 

The family road trip of long hours spent in the car trying to make mileage, looking for good places to stop or gobbling up the road in order to make the planned stop in a certain town hundreds of miles away – yes, I have been there, and possibly you too.

 

It’s when the truck seat gets too hard, the hunger pains are telling you snacks are no longer considered a meal and tempers are not flaring but could if one more thing decides to go awry.  This is when the road gets longer.

 

Much like circumstances in our lives.  A certain amount of suffering, pain or complications in life is expected, inevitable and lived through.  It’s as if we like to be in the driver’s seat of the time given to our suffering and when we have had enough, we put on the brakes.  If only it were that simple, or even possible.  We are not in the driver’s seat of our lives – sorry to burst your bubble.

 

God is Sovereign and only He determines the outcome, duration, direction and situation.  Oh, we have choices, lots of them, but He is Sovereign and He knows which way we will chose.  Our attitudes in our circumstances determine much.  Our strong and stubborn wills account for more.  Our flesh gets in the way clouding our vision and we end up where we never thought we would go.

 

Hello.


The road is now even longer from before.

 

Much like a home remodeling project.  What starts out to be a 4 – 6 week (max) project turns into 4 – 6 months with lots of late nights, anguish, dwindling bank account and frustrating conversations with contractors, code enforcement and more.  It’s when things go differently than according to our plan, we get anxious. 

 

How do we live in such a life?  The author of Proverbs (Solomon, for most of it), gives us the key – keep our eyes fixed straight ahead.  Looking at Jesus in front of us as we take one step at a time.  He is our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1) and He leads; we should follow.  It’s when we wander we have trouble.  Looking at the wildflowers, the interesting tree, the brook, the fish in the brook – it is here we get lost, struggle and lose our way.  Jesus has not moved, we have.  The road we were on became longer because we have to go back the way we came on our detour and get back to Jesus.

 

In a sense, we create the long-ness of the road.  Because of our stubbornness, distracted minds and willful flesh, we make the straight path into a criss-cross maze of side streets and pit stops.

 

Does this sound familiar?  It should as we have an example in the Old Testament.  The Israelites were in the wilderness, God had brought them out of Egypt, out of slavery and He was taking them into the Promise Land.  He was making them into a nation, a people group and solely His.  What should have taken a very short amount of time (approximately 11 days), turned into 40 years because of missteps of sin, doubt, willfulness and more on the part of the Israelites.  I could just as easily insert my name there, because many of my short journeys are long due to my own determined short-sighted decisions.

 

What do we do when our road becomes long?  Or the suffering we thought would end in a few weeks or months has turned into a lifestyle? (Ouch)  And sometimes suffering becomes long, not because of anything we have done wrong – then what? 

 

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart, and wait for the LORD.  Psalm 27:14 NIV

 

Yes, David said it right.  Wait.  Not a word I particularly enjoy.

 



Wait (here at Psalm 27:14) in Hebrew is kaw-raw and according to Strong’s Concordance, means to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect.  According to Blue Letter Bible there are more meanings including to linger, look for and look eagerly for.  What I find even more interesting is what the Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon adds: wait for (probably originally twist, stretch, then of tension of enduring, waiting).

 

Why can I not escape that word endure?  Do you feel the same way?  Many verses in Scripture point to this one word.  Endure.  Wait sounds hopeful, at least.  Endure sounds and is, painful.  But, we are called to wait. 

 

Jill Briscoe said it poignantly, “We are called to embrace what we are called to endure.”

 



Embrace, as in a warm hug?  Back to the long drives across the country – bracing myself for a long day of driving does take an element of thought.  I am much better prepared if I know it will be a 700-mile day rather than thinking I will be at the destination by lunch. 

 

No amount of pre-planning for long suffering is out there.  If someone had told me a simple injury would lead to over 4 years of agony (and counting) I would have gotten out of the truck.  And no doubt, in your own suffering, you could say something similar.  We’d walk away.  Leave the ball on the ground and go home. 

 

But God.

 

He has other plans.  He has the ultimate plan of making us more into the image of His Son, molding us into His disciple –

 

Then He (Jesus) said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.   For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”  Luke 9:23-24 NIV

 

Yes, there is tension in the waiting.  Yes, there is a twisting and stretching.  It is done by the Master’s hand and it is good.  Yes, good.  Because God is good and what He does is good (Psalm 119:68) for our good (Romans 8:28).

 

May we embrace this good.  And thank God for it.


PRAYER


Abba Father, thank You for leading and guiding me. Even as I go through the valleys of suffering, You are with me. And, in actuality, there is some pre-planning I can do: stay in You, the Vine. Because You remain with and in me on my way. You do not abandon me nor leave me. When the road gets long, remind me Lord, You are here, in my here and now and You love me, care for and protect me. You are for me and my good. You are doing a good work in me and will finish it when You call me home. Yes Lord, I can endure with You. Always with You. I embrace You with my heart, soul, mind and strength. In Jesus's name, AMEN

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