I recently found out that I had a preconceived notion that if it was God’s will for me to do something, He would make that path clear, straight, and smooth. It’s funny, because I have always taught that life isn’t easy, especially the life of a Christian; but apparently I still subconsciously had a notion that God will make things happen and they will go smoothly when He wills it so. He finally relieved me of this notion, though 😛 There are times when God absolutely does turn you down a path and He smooths it out and it just blossoms and blooms like flowers in the spring – naturally, easily, and beautifully. But there are some times when God points you down a road and you can just look down the path and see nothing but roadblocks. What do you do then? God obviously wants you on this path, but the second you put foot to ground, you know there are going to be problems.
What if we looked at these roadblocks and saw them as God-moments instead? What if each problem that blocks your path becomes an opportunity for God to show up and show off for you? Would you be more willing to follow Him down that path? I am staring down a roadblock-laden path that God wants me to take, and while I was at first hesitant and a little anxious about it, He has given me an attitude adjustment and spoke into my ear, “Just wait and watch!” When I look down this path bogged down with sink holes, boulders, and fallen trees, each one now looks like a miracle waiting to happen. When we remember God’s faithfulness to us and remember His incredible promises, we get to look at all the problems and issues in our lives as opportunities for God’s hands to go to work. As Christians, we don’t have problems in our lives – we have moments of God-opportunity. I look at the life of Paul, specifically Acts 27-28, and really (as the nerd I am) get super excited. Paul was in captivity on his way to Rome when they had to choose to sail during the bad weather or wait until after storm season to set sail. Paul told the men sailing the ship that it was a bad idea to set sail before the storm season, but they didn’t listen. He knew what was going to happen – he was looking down the path and seeing all the roadblocks – but he had no choice but to go. God took over each trial they faced and Paul was able to minister to hundreds on the island of Malta, healing all those who came to him. Each of the roadblocks Paul encountered, God turned into a miraculous victory.
The incredible message for us today is that we serve the same God as Paul! We serve a God that takes us down issue-riddled paths and flips each issue into a miraculous victory that both teaches and strengthens us, as well as glorifies Him through our lives. James 1:2-4 ESV says
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
We are to go so far as to rejoice when we face trials because they are what help us grow in our faith and wisdom – because each trial shows God at work as He brings us through it. And I love these words in 2 Corinthians 4:13-15 ESV
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
His grace gives us reason to praise Him in thanksgiving and bring Him glory to all who hear the incredible things He has done for us.
O Beloved, the peace we could have if we truly, truly believed this; if we truly saw each trial as nothing more than another opportunity to see God’s hands at work. What peace. What joy! I pray tonight that we may each believe and truly internalize this incredible change in perspective, that we may all have peace and excitement whenever the path of life brings another roadblock. As Lauren Daigle says in this wonderful song,
When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!