Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Road Ahead - Martin Wiles

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go.” Isaiah 30:21 NLT

The road ahead often winds and maneuvers in ways I could never imagine. 

My wife and I were at a retreat in the Tennessee mountains. One of the mornings when we had free time, I invited her to take a hike on a nearby trail. Moderate in intensity, the trail meandered by farm sites hundreds of years old and also through panoramic views of the numerous wildflowers that grow in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. As we trudged along, my wife snapped a picture and said, “Look at the road ahead.” 

Isaiah reminded the people of God’s road before them and of how often they had chosen their own roads. Following God’s road would lead to His blessings, but they often chose the more heavily traveled road—the road of disobedience. 

God’s road often has steep inclines. I’ve been on many mountain trails where I had to stop numerous times before reaching the top. Only with periodic rest stops and by guzzling fluids did I finally reach the pinnacle. As my wife and I discovered, however, what goes up must come down. Our return hike was downhill the entire way. 

The road ahead contains unforeseen elements. I had hiked this particular trail 16 years ago and remembered only scattered images of interesting things along the way to the waterfall at the end. Walking the trail now was like experiencing a new adventure as I anticipated what was next. God doesn’t give me a point by point map of where His road will take me—only the assurance He’ll be with me as I travel. 

God’s road is sometimes uneven. This trail was. Some places were flat but others were dotted with rocks, roots, and washed out gulleys. When we approached these areas, we slowed down and chose our steps carefully. Trials and tribulations are parcel to life—some placed there by God to challenge and increase our faith. In those times, I need God’s guidance even more. 

Taking God’s road also puts me in touch with fellow travelers. Porter’s Creek Trail is a popular hiking area because of the plethora of wildflowers. Hundreds of people preceded and followed us. Whatever road God leads me down, He’ll always provide fellow travelers to help me make the journey. 

Regardless of the road you’re traveling, God—and others, walk beside you. 

Prayer: Father, we ask You to guide our steps as we walk the road that leads through the valley, up and over the mountain, and through the wilderness.

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