August 24, 2018
Road Closed! What Direction Do You Take?
A few days ago, I was driving into Philly to speak at a chapel. I don’t go into the city often, but when I do, I try to avoid rush hour. I left early because I was going to speak at a great Christian-owned company that provides Friday morning chapels at 8 a.m. for their employees. I had my convertible top down, my voicemail was cleared, my morning devotions were good, and it was a beautiful sunny summer morning. Then boom: road closed!
For someone like me … an organized, methodical engineer … a road sign like that used to create immediate stress for me. I always needed my agenda to happen. Who could ever be as smart, organized, and prepared as I am? Who reads situations, applies past experiences, and predicts and knows the future better than I do? How dare someone have a different plan for my morning than the awesome one I mapped out and was in the middle of implementing?
Finding a new route with minimal traffic was a challenge. Making sure I would be on time was a mild concern. But the real issue in my core was the desire to be in control of all these things. I want events to go my way. You see, in my mind, from my flesh, I mistakenly think that when I am in control, situations work out better. I’m “sure” I have the least chance of experiencing pain or discomfort, because I am looking out for myself and the comfort of others. If uneasiness occurs within my plan, it will be known ahead of time. Pain is so much easier to deal with when it is a part of my plan or can be anticipated. The plans of others are never as good as mine and they may contain random, unforeseen pain. At least these were my base assumptions.
The fact I was forgetting was that God knows the route ahead of me. And yes, those detours in my day are from God. When He says, “Road Closed!” it’s because He has a better route to my destination, a route that helps me develop the “Mind of Christ.” Let me reassure you, you really don’t know all the details of your life, the future, or what the rest of the world will do in the next 5 minutes, let alone the next 30 years. But God does! So let Him direct your route.
Today, when God closes the road ahead of you, sending you on what you think is a detour, quickly accept that this is actually the best path for you. Examine why you don’t want to accept His path, and insist that yours is better. Enjoy it! Be thankful that He put you on a path that is better than the one you were already enjoying. This is actually one of the most important daily decisions in life. Do I trust and give thanks for the path God provides? Or do I get angry and whine that I didn’t get the path I planned for and anticipated? WITHIN REACH really helps you examine each new situation through Godly lenses. Whether you follow God’s perfect path or you buck against His and always try to follow your last-second short-sighted concoction is your decision, so choose well.
Dear God, my Father, Today I persevere along the path that You have prepared for me. I am relying on Your strength to sustain me. I am too weak to proceed on my own. The storms in my life are making me weak. I am learning to accept my weakness, because I am beginning to understand that my weakness is the stage on which Your Power and Glory perform most brilliantly. As I walk this path, I wait with anticipation and faith for Your miracles to unfold before me. Help me to live by faith and not by sight. Help me to see You in all Your Glory. I pray in the name of the One who accepted the most dreadful path for my sake, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Psalm 63:2
We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7