I walked this still, peaceful, and lovely country road a few days back.
I had no idea what lay at its faraway end, nor even what lay just up ahead, around the bend.
I surely do wish that my life were as still, peaceful, and lovely as this road instead of frantic, anxious, and distorted. Fortunately for me, I live life with the One who is the very essence of peace, the very source of beauty, and the very fulfillment of a still, small, quietly whispered voice. Even when my life seems not to be quiet, peaceful, and lovely, the Source of my life is those things. As long as I abide with and drink from Him deeply, there is hope beyond measure.
But also: I surely do wish that my life were not as bent as this road, first in its essence – because way down there, buried under layers of undeserved grace, is a heart bent beyond recognition but for the righteousness of Christ in which it is bathed, once and for all, each and every day – and second in its progression – because up ahead, just within my sight, is a great big bend in the road beyond which I can see nothing. Nothing at all.
It seems like that bend has been there for a mighty long time now. Maybe forever. And for folks like me, a forever-bend is just about unbearable.
Except for this: God works on folks like me. Patiently. Deeply. Lovingly. Daily. And because of that, there comes a day when the bend up ahead, the one beyond which I can see nothing at all, is not such an unbearable thing as it once was. The change in perception is slow coming (especially for folks like me). But come it does. Not in the road itself, but rather in me myself. Because that’s what God does – unbends our bent hearts so they can rest, so they can trust, so they can take their eyes off the bend up ahead and see instead all the still and peaceful beauty that flank us on both sides.
I don’t know if the bend ever goes away entirely, or even gets any closer. I suspect that the life of faith is best lived on a road that runs straight in its purpose even as it bends endlessly in its knowability. Fortunately for us, we can live life with the One who not only knows all but also can be known. This road is His. He not only walks beside but He also waits up ahead. Around the bend. Meaning that around-the-unknown-and-unseen-bend is not a place to be feared but rather is the most beautiful place to be headed.
…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint…