(this pic was taken on my way home from church yesterday)
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6: 16
The past several days my little corner of the world has seen quite a lot of rain. Some towns are seeing record amounts of flooding. I can hear the sound of rain and sleet hitting our tin roof as I sit here today. We live on a gravel road that gets muddy in wet weather so we tend to pay more attention to rain than most I guess.
I got to thinking about some times in the past years when our roads were in even worse shape than they are at the present. When going to visit my husband’s parents thirty-plus years ago, we frequently traveled a lonely stretch of red dirt/gravel road with not a single house in sight for many miles. I never liked driving through there alone in bad weather but I remember one particular time I had to out of necessity. The road was more red dirt than gravel and that day it was wet and slippery from several days of continuous rain. There was evidence that several heavy vehicles had traveled the road in advance of me because I could see deep ruts in the road where their wheels had sunk into the mud. I had a jittery feeling in my stomach as I started down the road. But I remembered the advice my husband had given me: “Just try to stay out of the ruts and you will be all right.” He knew from experience that if a low-riding car let its wheels get off in deep ruts, the bottom of the car would most likely be stuck in the mud until someone with a pickup or tractor and a chain came along! (Remember…this was before we all had cell phones!) So with that thought in the back of my mind I gave the car some gas and with a tight grip on the steering wheel and a prayer in my heart I drove through the muddy stretch of road safely. “And he led them on safely, so that they feared not:” Psalm 78: 53
It’s strange how some of our everyday experiences parallel those in our spiritual lives. We are on a journey that begins at birth and ends with death. In between we face many kinds of roads and many kinds of weather conditions. When the road we travel is smooth and straight, we just sort of sit back and enjoy the ride. But when we face the rain, the snow, the mud, the ice, or strong winds, we grip the steering wheel and say a prayer as we drive or perhaps even pull over and stop completely. It’s pretty much the same in the spiritual realm. When everything is going well in our church, when our family is happy and healthy, when our job is fulfilling and pays well, etc. we just sit back and enjoy the ride. Sometimes we even forget to thank God for providing all these smooth roads.
I heard a remark recently that I tend to agree with. Someone said that the real test of someones love for God is not how he acts when things are going bad but how he acts when things are going well. Most everyone resorts to prayer when their world comes crashing in but the people who pray and go to church when their life seems to be going smooth are the ones who have the deepest love for our Lord.
It might be a good idea to keep your eyes open for those “ruts” in the road ahead of you. Those are the places where someone else has spun their wheels or gotten stuck in the mud. Don’t let the failures of others keep you from doing the job God wants you to do. It will take the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit in our lives to keep us out of the ruts of life but certainly it can be done.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16: 11
May God bless you is my prayer!