“How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring, The early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength the strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84: 5 – 7
My husband and I traveled to the Hotel Dupont in Delaware almost two-and-a-half years ago. The occasion? Our twentieth wedding anniversary. We gladly anticipated celebrating in the same place we had spent our wedding night.
Since we live in North Carolina, a long trip was involved. We printed two sets of internet directions and chose one that came highly recommended. After driving for nearly eight hours or so, we hit D.C. area rush-hour traffic on the beltway.
Vehicles stood still. There was nowhere to go. And hot! It was so hot. We became irritable – yes, even though we were more in love than the day we married – my husband and I got cranky with each other. Our trip had been suddenly suspended while we sat on a hot highway and worried we might miss our dinner reservation.
But we got there. Eventually we picked up speed and finally arrived at our destination. Attitudes improved and we ended up having one of our most fabulous times ever. Mark and I now smile about that horrible traffic delay and realize the other set of directions would have gotten us there faster. They entailed a different route that bypassed the beltway altogether! Oh well, as they say, hindsight is always 20/20.
Our journey to God bears some similarities to this anniversary trip. Though one way to God the Father exists through JESUS CHRIST, we have many choices once we become a Christian. These choices – like the highways mentioned in Psalm 84:5 – look different for each of us.
Sometimes we choose “highways” that benefit our spiritual lives, like:
poring over God’s Word and applying it
regularly fellowshipping with the body of Christ
serving God by serving others
Activities such as attending Christian conferences, listening to Christian music, and soaking up God’s truth positively influence our lives.
Yet we also choose “highways” that negatively affect our spiritual lives, like:
neglecting our relationship with God
not attending a Bible-believing church or pursuing meaningful connections with other Christians
refusing to forgive as well as culturing bitterness
Clinging to material pleasures, emphasizing worldly success, and allowing ungodly perspectives to influence our decisions result in a deprived spiritual state. None of us want that.
But here’s the good news:
God sovereignly weaves our life experiences together in a way that leads us to him. Though it’s foolish to depart from His way as outlined in the Bible, our wrong choices never exceed God’s grace.He uses the good and the bad to mature and strengthen us.
Finally one day, we’ll see Him face to face. Our troubles will cease and we’ll bask in the joy of His presence.
We will get there.
“Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.” – Psalm 16:11