My parents live on a beautiful plot of land in the country. A red clay dirt road leads up to their gate, well worn by truck tires and rain. The property wasn’t always so beautiful, over the years they put a lot of labor into making it their own. One of the many projects was moving the entrance gate, which sat on the corner of the property at the intersection of two dirt roads. In order to open the gate, they had to stop in the middle of the intersection, blocking passage, to open the gate. Although there was not much traffic on the road, it was not uncommon to see a truck waiting for the way to clear. My parents decided to move the gate from the corner to the side of the property making a spacious opening for parking outside the gate.
An investment of time, effort and money was needed to complete the project. My dad spent many weekday evenings working till sundown, returning tired, dirty and covered in sweat. He knew it would be worthwhile in the end though. The hope of having a new entrance with more convenience, function and curb appeal kept him going till the end.
If my dad let the difficulties of the project keep him from seeking a better way, my parents would have been stuck with an awkward entryway. In the same way, if we do not drive off the beaten path of our old ways, we will never see the power of God treading a new way for us. Sometimes in order to see real change, God asks us to do uncomfortable things. The fear of the unknown can be paralyzing, keeping us from stepping out into what we are called. When I have experienced the burden of fear, the Lord has reminded me that He cares for me and will never lead me astray.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
I am in awe when I read of the miraculous way God made a way for Moses, how he equipped David, provided for Ruth and transformed Paul. These stories are great examples of His sovereign power and consistent love. For some reason though, it is easy to believe He will do these things for others, not so much for myself. When things have been a certain way for so long it can be difficult to see that a new way is possible.
The common trait I see in all of the faithful bible characters is their trust in God’s character. Their confidence in God is what led them to radical obedience. Exploring unknown territory is not so scary when you know that God has your back. Suddenly, it becomes less about what you're giving up, how hard the journey is, or what may or may not happen, but about who is with you through it all. All fear falls away when you know you are promised to be in the presence of Love Himself.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
Psalm 25:10 ESV
These great men and women of God were broken human beings like you and me. It was God who filled the gaps, who loved the lowly and set them apart for something greater. They were asked to step out in faith and trust him to take care of the rest, this is exactly what he asks of us. Let's keep our eyes on the eternal God who transforms and restores all things. We should be so excited about what God has for us, that the uncomfortable seems well worth it.
The new path the Lord has set before us leads to life-giving purpose and renewal. For me, everything changed when I learned to leave every struggle at the feet of Jesus. What we can’t change, He can. There is no depth our God cannot reach, there is no task impossible for him, no heart too hard.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Whether we are struggling with healing deep wounds or just being consistent in our walk, it is never too late to change pace. We are free to leave behind the circling path of our old selves and boldly step out with the power of the Holy Spirit. He will be faithful to transform us. We will not only be free from our old ways but made into new people with new ways. We can settle in the peaceful truth that God has already provided the way, all we need to do is step out in faith.
Remember to prioritize firsthand Bible reading every day, only the Word has the power to transform. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV