Has there ever been a point in your life where you have looked around and wondered, "how did this become a part of my story?" Maybe you were sexually assaulted as a child or maybe YOUR child has been sexually assaulted. Maybe your spouse has been unfaithful. Maybe you have found yourself addicted to drugs or alcohol and you are spiraling out of control. Maybe you lost someone suddenly to violence. Maybe you have always dreamed of having children but you have had to walk through miscarriage after miscarriage or infertility. Maybe your dream of owning a business has ended in bankruptcy. Maybe you have been diagnosed with an incurable disease. Maybe you have attempted suicide. Maybe you have an eating disorder. Maybe you were a prostitute. Maybe you (fill in the blank). Now what? Now what do we do when all of the dreams we had for our life lie in a broken pile at our feet?
Often times we can get side swiped by the ugliness of life and it renders us completely broken, angry, sad, hopeless, afraid and lost. "God, where were you? Why didn't you stop this from happening to me? What am I supposed to do now? Where do I go from here?" These are very common questions when we are faced with the ugly and the unexpected and these questions hurt because they cut to the very depth of who God is and who we though He was to us before all of this happened. We begin to question His goodness, His love, His protection, His mercy, His provision, His power and authority and we can mentally go to a place where we aren't sure if we even know God after all.
When the ugliness of life rears it’s merciless head we have a choice. We can either take the high road or the road our flesh demands we take, the “easy” road. The road our flesh wants to choose is the road of bitterness, un forgiveness, hopelessness, gossip, rage, self pity, depression, addiction, suicide, sexual immorality and the list goes on and on. This road is easy to take, it’s always present and available. It’s the widest and shortest road but when we come to the end of it there is nothing but darkness waiting for us. This is not the road we are called to travel during our lifetime.
We are called to take the hight road. This road requires us to climb higher, it requires us to use muscles we didn’t even know we had. This road requires us to strip off the heaviness that would keep us from going higher. This road requires focus. This road requires endurance. This road requires us to keep looking up and to keep climbing until we reach the top.
Psalm 121: 1-8
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
A hard truth that I have learned and I am still learning is that God is present even when the horrible happens to us. He is not far removed, He has not forsaken us, He has not forgotten about us. Then the ever present question is: why? Why didn’t He stop it? Why didn’t He intervene? Why didn’t He (fill in the blank). I wish I knew the answers to those questions because quite frankly, I have some questions I want answered too. Through every heartbreaking, difficult, hopeless situation God is still good. I can look back on every pivotal event in my life that could or would have destroyed me, my hope, my focus, my trust, my faith and see that He was present and carried me through all of it. It’s ONLY because of HIM that I am a sane, alive person right now. I have cried, cussed, screamed, punched things but through it all God directed didn’t forsake me rather, He directed my focus to the higher road and in obedience, I climbed. I cried as I climbed, I questioned as I climbed, I pouted as I climbed and sometimes He showed me why and sometimes I have to be at peace about not knowing the “why” and I have to trust His ways are higher then my ways and He knows what He is doing.
I have wanted so many times, to choose the easy road. I have stood before it and contemplated taking that road, then I am reminded of a time when I traveled down it and how it almost destroyed me. Then I look at the high road, take a deep breath and say, “God not my will but Yours be done” and I begin my climb.
Whatever you are facing, whatever loss you have experienced, whatever pain you have had to endure, whatever mistakes you have made you can still choose the high road. It’s available to all of us, we just have to be willing to fix our eyes on Jesus. The one who already made a way and took the high road for all of humanity and we get to follow in His footsteps. We are not asked to travel down a road He has not already traveled.
From the deepest part of my heart I want to say, I am so sorry you have walked through or are walking through pain. I am so sorry you have been abandoned, rejected, abused, mistreated, mocked, taken advantage of, lied to or let down. I am sorry life has not been kinder to you. I do know that God has not forgotten about you. He has not turned His back on you. He has not set you up for failure. He loves you, He is for you, He sees you and knows you and He WILL redeem every tear, every heartbreak, every loss, everything. He is still in the business of healing, restoring and redeeming.
1. How have you been hurt? How have you responded to the hurt?
2. Do you take the high road or the "easy" road when you are faced with a challenge?
3. What do you focus on when you are in the midst of trial?