Friday, February 18, 2011
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Okay, it's an adult's privilege to get nostalgic every once in a while, don't you think? And my wife and I will suddenly get this far-away look, and you know, drift back to some childhood incident. And that's usually the point at which the kids desert the room, because they know another one of the old stories is coming up. But frankly, I like it when my wife's telling about her childhood on the farm in the Ozarks. I enjoy hearing about it.
She told me the other day about her walk to school. She was a five-year-old girl, and they lived quite a ways from the main highway, and she had a long road ahead. Okay, she's got this big, long walk to the bus, so for the first leg of the trip, she'd have her Mom in sight. Now, Mom had another little girl there, so she couldn't leave. So she'd watch my wife until she got to a bend in the road. And then this little girl would go around the bend and there was Grandma, because Grandma's place was down the next stretch. And then she'd go around another bend, and around the next bend was a friendly neighbor's house who usually would spot this little girl coming and would wave at her. Oh yeah, and then there was one more bend, and then the bus. Guess what part of the journey my wife said she really didn't like? Yeah, you got it, the bends in the road.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Bends in the Road."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Isaiah 43, and I'll begin reading at verse 1. "Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name. You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze." You know what the Lord's talking about here? He's talking about the bends in the road like my wife experienced. It's those places where there's nobody there but Him.
Now, our life journey is not unlike my wife's childhood walk to the school bus. At each major phase of our journey, God puts a strategic person or people in our path just like my wife would see Mom, and Grandma, and the neighbor, and then finally the people at the bus. In a sense, God will put flesh and blood representatives of His love right there when you need someone. And you can think back to who some of those people have been, right?
But as you've entered each new chapter and you've rounded each bend, there waiting for you has been God's person for that episode in your life. But then there are the bends in the road...there's no one there. The Bible talks about passing through the river, and the fire, and the waters. And for a time, you are without a support person. Maybe you're there now. My wife said to me, "I learned that I had Jesus when I hit the bend in the road, and only Jesus." Hey, you might be in such a bend right now, and there's no one who will be there for you. Or maybe they would be, but they just can't meet your need right now. Well, listen to His promise again. He has said all through the waters, and the fire, "I will be with you. I am the Lord your God."
Paul found out in his prison. He said, "Everyone had deserted me, but the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength." See, the plan of God includes places where you will have no one but Him. Why is that? So you can experience life's greatest security of all.
See, you never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you've got. And you know where you discover that? At the scary, lonely, and precious bends in the road.