Monday, September 29, 2003
It's one of those hidden natural treasures that not a lot of people know about. They call it Buttermilk Falls. People had told us what a picturesque spot it would be. They didn't tell us about the road you have to drive to see this picturesque spot. We turned off the paved road where our directions said to, and suddenly we found ourselves on a dirt road that was one crater after another. There was no way to miss these gigantic potholes. In fact, one guy in a Volkswagen in front of us just totally disappeared. So, I had to drive about two miles an hour with the kids reminding me that they weren't having much fun. It was really tempting to turn back, but we persevered. And I'm glad we did. We finally reached this magnificent waterfall, cascading down the rock walls of a cliff. There was even a trail where we climbed to the top and got this great view from the top of the waterfall. We loved it! And in spite of the miserable road to it, we went back several times. And it was worth it!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Bumpy Road to a Beautiful Destination."
Actually, you may be navigating a very bumpy road in your life right now, and you're not enjoying this process much at all. And as you're having to really slow down and to absorb the shocks, it's tempting to turn back, isn't it? But God wants to remind you today of something it is easy to forget when the road is rough: there's something beautiful -- something worth it -- at the end of this difficult journey.
Few people in the Bible rode a bumpier road than Joseph did. Hated by his brothers, thrown into a pit by them, taken into slavery in Egypt, thrown into prison for doing the right thing. God didn't tell him where this rough road was leading any more than He's telling you where yours goes. But Joseph had the faith to keep driving even when it was almost impossible to imagine a happy ending. Of course, we know now there was a very happy ending. God promoted Joseph to be the assistant Pharaoh of Egypt -- the second most powerful man in the world -- so he would be in a position to help Egypt to forecast and prepare for a great famine. And to provide the food that would save the lives of the very brothers who had hurt him so deeply.
Now, our word for today from the Word of God begins in Genesis 45:5 as Joseph tells his brothers, "It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you ... It was not you who sent me here, but God." All that pain was to position him to make a difference in many lives. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph testifies to the sovereignty of God as he says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish the saving of many lives."
It had been a road filled with deep pitfalls and jarring blows. But it came out -- like the road to our waterfall -- at a beautiful place. Joseph's God is the same God you belong to. And He's taking you somewhere that will make the bumpy road worth it. He may be using these jolts to outfit you for a powerful ministry to hurting people. Maybe He's birthing great faith in you so you'll have what it takes to do great things for Him. Maybe He's allowing a mess so He can show you a miracle. He may be having you wait longer than you wanted because He's preparing you for a plan that is greater than you could have ever, ever dreamed.
If you keep your eyes on the God of all hope, you'll be able to handle the bumps, trusting in a God who uses bumpy roads to get us to beautiful destinations. So don't turn back now. You are going to love the view on ahead.