Sunday, October 9, 2011

Road Closed

A beautiful fall day is a treasure. It combines a pleasant relief from the hot and humid days of summer, with a welcome reprieve from the coming frigid conditions of winter. This one beckoned to me and my camera, and we were happy to oblige.

I had been waiting for a day like this. It was the perfect opportunity to go exploring. At that time, I lived just far enough out of town to be able to say I lived in the country. One benefit of country living is that you are surrounded by the beauty of nature, but though I had been there for a couple of years, I had never really taken the opportunity to look around. Today would finally be that day.

I came across many interesting sights, but one had a clear message. It was easy to see. In fact, who could miss it? A huge sign proclaiming, “Road Closed”. This was on a little used dirt road, and yet, the county had gone to a lot of trouble and expense to erect this elaborate blockade. Looking at the photo, you have to wonder “why?” It is such a short span of road, and nothing is visible that might be of concern. In spite of my doubts, though, there was no way my car was going to continue down that road. The county had seen to that by putting up a barrier so complete, no vehicle would find a way through.

I’m not the kind of person who ignores barriers, so I didn’t even consider breaching that roadblock. I do happen to be acquainted with a local resident, however, so the next time we crossed paths I asked her what was going on. She said that span of the road is actually a little bridge that had been condemned. This has been a major inconvenience to her family, making their commute to anywhere 10 miles longer than normal. Even worse, it had already been closed for a couple of years, and would be a couple more before the work got done.

Wow! That is inconvenient. Linda’s family adjusted easily enough, but I wonder how I would fare. While I felt sympathy for her, I was glad my little bit of country still had open roadways. I got to wondering, though, about the other kinds of obstacles I am confronted with. We all have them. Every area of life has its insurmountable complications. How’s your health been lately? What about your relationships? Or your job? Have you ever planned and worked for something, maybe sacrificed for it, only to find it was not available to you? How have you reacted?

It is easy to become overcome with frustration, anger or even depression, when we face hardships. Typically, emotions refuse to be confined to the area they belong in, so other parts of our lives eventually suffer. Very often, things continue to go downhill. Instead of blindly stomping down this destructive path, we can find encouragement from God’s Word.

Over and over, we read that God knows everything about us, and nothing is allowed into our lives without his permission. To me, that means there is a reason for whatever I am going through. I may not be able to see what it is. It may never make sense to me, but if God wants it this way, I will accept it. That doesn’t mean I won’t suffer in some way. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, or quickly resolved. It means that God is in control. My life has already taught me that is a far better strategy than for me to be in that position.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.


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