The Crooked Road

Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten
    what he has made crooked?
Ecclesiastes 7:13

Living where I have lived, I have more than once, found myself careening down some pretty frightening crooked roads. You know, the kind where you can’t see around the next bend or hill and you find yourself white-knuckled gripping the safety bar holding on for dear life, all the while, praying that whoever is driving knows what they are doing! In contrast, travelling cross-country through the Prairie-States of the Midwest, I have experienced roads where I could literally see straight and clear for miles into the horizon – you know the kind where you can nearly take your hands off the wheel and still stay on the road?!

Oh, how I wish life could be nothing but straight roads….life’s paths for us laid out clearly with the line of sight unobstructed – no hills, no bends, no curves. Yet, most of us find ourselves on many a crooked road of life – without a clear view of what is coming next, hanging on for dear life as we try and navigate what lies before us.

Life went from sure and predictable to unknown and mysterious very quickly.

Three years ago, I was cruising along with a path well-laid out in front of me. I could have told you what I had planned and saw coming for the next months and even years. Then, suddenly, in April of 2019, the first major crook in the road appeared, soon to be followed by a series of bends and turns that I never expected. Life went from sure and predictable to unknown and mysterious very quickly. God had begun changing the topography of my life-map in a major way. Try as I might, I was unable to straighten the path. I soon learned the answer to what Solomon rhetorically asked in Ecclesiastes, “Who can straighten what God makes crooked?”.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, 
the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

Yet, if I had just ended there, with my hands in the air, and my heart in despair, I would have never known the beauty of travelling the crooked road. Cruise control of any kind has long become a thing of the past. Instead, I find myself giving up control and clinging tightly to the hand of my Pilot who has not only ordained this road for me, but is enabling and guiding me along the way. There is a closeness now with my Shepherd and Guide that I had never known before. Bends, curves, hills, they have become my norm as I have learned to embrace a faith that is truly based on the “evidence of things not seen”. As I have learned to rest, I have learned to lean into these topographical changes and not shy away from them; to allow them to instead, be a powerful force to shape my faith and outlook.

The joy of the journey of faith is best learned on the crooked road. 

Perhaps you find yourself on a crooked road today. My encouragement to you, is to embrace the crooked road, instead of fighting it and trying to straighten it. Rest in the master plan of the Divine Map-Maker. Lay aside the desire for cruise control and instead slide closer to the Heavenly Driver. He designed the track, He knows the curves and bends, and He has your best in mind. So, hold on tight, the ride might get a little bumpy, the curves a little sharp, the hills a little steep, but His steady hand on the wheel will surely see you through. A time might come when it will straighten out again, but always remember, the joy of the journey of faith is best learned on the crooked road.

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