“Commit your way to the Lord!”
Psalm 37:5 (Common English Bible)
Perhaps there is no more familiar image in the Bible than the image of the road. We encounter it everywhere. From end to end in the Bible our life is compared to a journey – a journey that is rarely direct or easy. Along any journey circumstances change often requiring a change in how we move toward our destination.
The people of Israel leave their captivity in Egypt and travel toward their own land. But fearing that difficulties along the journey would result in the people becoming fearful and turning back, God leads the people not by the shorter route but in a roundabout way of the Reed Sea desert (Exodus 13:17, 18).
After the magi have honored the new born baby, Jesus, they return to their own country “by another route” having been warned in a dream (Matthew 2:12).
Saul, on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians who are living there encounters Christ and not only experience a conversion to the Christian faith but his name is changed to Paul (Acts 9).
Means of travel along the road is different today than in biblical days but what remains the same is the unexpected. Illnesses, loss of a spouse or close friend, career change or any number of unplanned circumstances position themselves along the journey each demanding a change of course. Life is filled with complexity and progress becomes slow. We are not surprised that Israel might have become discouraged on the road to God’s Promised Land. Obstacles along the way can do that.
But pay attention to the “road stories” in the Bible. Though the pace and direction of the journey had to be adjusted according to each unique circumstances God always remained on the road with God’s people. Those who trust in the Lord never travel alone. The ability to adjust to changing circumstances and obstacles is vital to moving forward successfully. It is committing our way to the Lord and trusting in God that holds us steady until we have arrived at our destination.