“In the way of righteousness there is life, along that path is immortality.” Proverbs 12:28 (NIV)
Gazing out my front windows at the freshly fallen snow I feel as if I’m in a white, forgotten wilderness. We live on a fairly busy road…but the road isn’t even visible right now. The white yard flows into the white road, which flows into the white woods on the other side. The county crews are no doubt busy which means our road won’t get attention until later. I’m reminded of a another bygone snowy day, but it was a work day.
I headed to the garage, got in my truck, and whispered a prayer for safe travel. I backed out of our ice and snow covered drive way onto the ice and snow covered road. I was and am thankful that we live on the straight, flat portion of it. There are several miles between our home and the “main road”. Now, you’d have to live in a rural area to appreciate that term. I cautiously crept toward the stop sign at the end of my road, praying I’d see a clear path when I got there. When it finally came into view I released the breath I’d been holding and relaxed. The main route had in fact been cleared! You see, I’ve had several go rounds, literal go rounds, on ice covered roads. That always leaves me a bit shaken, so I couldn’t wait to hit that clear black ribbon of road!
As I continued on my way, I couldn’t help but admire the beauty of the cold, treacherous stuff. I watched as other travelers slowly made their way along their own slippery side roads, approaching their own stop signs. I wondered if they’d be able to stop, praying they could, for both our sake’s. I wondered if they were as relieved as I had been to see the clear path. As risky as it was, part of me wanted to keep driving around so I could look, the trees were stunning that day.
Isn’t that so like life? We get drawn in by the alluring beauty of our surroundings, enticing us to leave the clear way. Our pride enthralled thoughts lead us to believe, it can’t be that bad. I can make it just fine. Too late we realize we’ve created a self inflicted struggle. We’ve left the clear path. We hit that first slippery patch and careen into the fact that we’ve erred. We’re stranded! We turn and look back to see the safe way beckoning. Sometimes we’re close enough to get back with out much trouble. Most other times we need binoculars to even see that thin black ribbon of road. We have to struggle and fight to get back to the path that’s free from danger. Why do we cruise right into havoc and then turn in disbelief when we see where we’ve landed? Because we don’t listen!
Moses had the mind blowing honor and privilege of having God speak to him. Like, here’s your list of things to do and this is how it will turn out, now go. Yet Moses balked and hem-hawed and made excuses, he resisted. Once God set him straight, Moses did in fact lead the Jews out of Egypt. But he too met with resistance. First from the Pharaoh, which God warned him of. But then came resistance from the very people he led to freedom. These folks were eye witnesses to miraculous wonders that we can only fathom in our imaginations. Yet they faltered. They wanted to go their own way and make their own rules. They rebelled against God. As a result of that they wandered in the desert for forty long years.
Would I have been any different? Would you?
In Exodus 15 God tells us, “I am the Lord who heals you.” But it came with instructions. God said, “listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes”. God promises His people that He will care for them. Always.
When you’re reading God’s Word…listen. When you’re in your prayer closet…listen. Seek the path He has laid out for you. If you begin to wander and shakenly realize you’ve veered of course…stop …immediately! Look up! God will be right where you left Him…waiting. He’ll guide you back to the safety of His clear road.
What a sweet relief…