Last summer my family headed east after a missions trip to take some much needed vacation time. My husband decided to take us through roads that was a bit off the beaten path, but were majestic and glorious.
Our trek from Eastern Oregon into Idaho took us over the Wallowa Mountains. The road wound along streams and creeks and through thousand foot deep valleys.
The kids had to keep their eyes out the window to keep their tummies calm. As we drove along majestic cliffs and under towering pine trees, we were awe struck by the magnitude of the wonders we saw.
Each turn produced another exhale as we saw the way that God had handcrafted His creation. What struck us even more was that early pioneers had crossed these steep rocky crags hundereds of years before. On foot and by horse and wagon.
The inability to comprehend their journey, coupled with the weather of the region and adverse terrain, made us even more grateful for the paved road we traveled on.
I thought about the faith, grit, and fortitude it must have taken these pioneers. There were no social media updates, weather forecasts, or warnings and alerts.
Women, wives, and moms had to trust in God to protect their husbands and kids from the terrors that were ever present. They had no way to know what was ahead and the roads being nonexistent must have felt they were walking on broken ground.
Struggles would have included poverty, food scarcity, enemies, and disease. Finding clean water to drink, healthy animals to eat, and fighting harsh weather would have been their biggest struggles.
Traveling companions may or may not have been trustworthy or close friends. A quiet cup of tea or hot bath would be unheard of.
But these settlers pressed on to their goal. To make a better life, even while walking a broken road. Despite their hardships, they would have remembered the “hard” their ancestors had told of—and they would have been encouraged.
One of the joys and hopes of mankind is the ability God gives us to remember the good. Oh we often remember the bad, too. God knows there is plenty of this.
But the good and the blessings are a glimpse of the wisdom and grace of God. It is here we see mercy and love that surpasses all measure.
The Isrealite people experienced this in their wilderness wanderings . They walked across that Red Sea on dry land and escaped their enemies. This experience became a plumb line for them to look back and to witness the faithfulness of Jehovah El Roi, the God who sees.
God tell us that in these moments of remembering we will be refreshed.
“Thus says the Lord; Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient path, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”(Jeremiah 6:16,ESV)
Unanimously we feel the unrest these days. I continue to look at the children God has placed into my life and peer into their wondering eyes as they ask me questions about life, liberty, and justice.
I work with them to understand what kindness means and looks like despite the actions of others.
We talk about the importance of Scripture, prayer, and loving others as Jesus would.
I remind them that worship of our God is never to be put aside.
As I do, I remember the stories and “ancient paths” that heroes and heroines of the faith have been on before me.
I look at my own path ahead and sometimes it, too, looks broken and scary. I pray my faith is strong enough for what lies ahead.
I want my own kids someday to reflect on this path. I want them to see a great big God who provided a good way.
When we can see this, it provides us strength and courage to take the next steps. It helps us to find peace and assurance. Despite the path to the future we know who walks it with us and is good in bringing rest.
God will make straight the crooked roads, for His ways are always perfect!!