Monday, March 2, 2020

Dead-End Living - Martin Wiles

You grew weary in your search, but you never gave up. Desire gave you renewed strength, and you did not grow weary. Isaiah 57:10 NLT
Tim looked up and found himself all alone.
Tim enjoyed a nice sunny day in the Czech Republic city of Ostrava. He had just moved there to take an intense course in the Czech language. But after a half of day of Czech grammar, he was tired. He boarded the tram for his twenty-minute ride to his home. As normal, the tram made several stops to let people on and off. Then suddenly, he looked up and noticed he was at the final stop where everyone got off. The tram continued around the corner to a dead end where it stopped. The driver exited, leaving Tim all alone.
I’ve reached a few dead ends myself. Such as the time when my brother and I followed a well-marked trail to the top of a mountain only to have the trail end. Rather than backtracking, we fought our way down a heavily-forested mountain, hoping we were traveling in the right direction.
And of course, I have run up against a few financial dead ends, too. Some because I made a poor decision and placed myself there. Others because someone else, or circumstances, put me there. The why wasn’t as important as the fact that I was there with seemingly no way to get out or turn around.
God’s people faced a dead end too—one of their own making. They had a habit of disobeying God’s commands … of running after pagan gods and pagan practices. Though their disobedience wore them out, they kept renewing their strength and trying again what hadn’t worked the first time. The definition of ignorance: doing the same thing over and expecting different results.
Dead ends in life—regardless of what type they are, or whether or not we’ve placed ourselves there—don’t have to be permanent. They are redeemable. God allows turnarounds,  and with God, a turnaround always exists. The way out may not be clear to us, but when we consult God He’ll make what appears cloudy bright and clear.
Dead ends also provide teachable moments, if we look for the lessons. God never wastes an event in our lives. Through the dead-end experiences, He’ll teach us valuable life lessons that will make us stronger and that will give us fodder to help others who’ve reached a dead end as well.
Don’t detest or waste the dead ends.
Prayer: Father, when we reach the dead ends, show us a better way.

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