Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
1 Peter 4:12-13 (MSG)
When you’re on a road trip, driving along in your car, sometimes you find yourself on a rough road. A road with bumps, pot holes, and broken pieces of asphalt. It’s a road that really needs some work done on it so you can drive in peace, in safety, and in comfort.
Thankfully, if each state’s department of roads/transit has done its job, they have a sign up to warn you before hit the rough road.
Don’t you wish your life was like that?
Don’t you wish your life was like a thunderstorm advisory push notification forcing its way onto your phone?
Don’t you wish you would be warned to put on a helmet and wear a cup, because your life was about to get difficult?
Don’t you wish God would give you a sign that life was gonna get rough?
You know what the best part about the rough road sign is… It let’s you know difficulty is coming, to get ready, to be prepared – sure. But, it’s also telling you that it will pass. It will end. It will be over. It won’t last forever.
This rough road will pass.
It will pass.
You’re not stuck; you’re not going the wrong direction.
Everything is okay.
I promise you.
Trust the sign.
But, when you’re on the rough road – it feels like forever. It feels like your car is going to bounce off the road, or lose a wheel like a cartoon police car chase in Looney Toons. The rough road feels like it is destroying your car, testing your nerves, and making you sweat as you white knuckle your steering wheel just hoping to avoid that giant chunk of asphalt in the middle of the highway.
You just want to get through it, over it, and leave it behind. You’re ready for smooth roads, smooth driving, and getting out of this trial – out of this difficulty.
Simply, maybe too simply, maybe over simplifying it a tiny little amount, okay – a lot – just hang on. Hang on a little while longer. Persevere.
Just get through it.
The rough road won’t last forever. You can endure it. Don’t let it break you. Just persevere.
Keep your eyes on the road in front of you – don’t look behind you in the rear view mirror. Keep looking forward. Keep your eyes on the road.
Don’t get distracted.
The end will come.
Don’t let the rough road ruin your road trip; don’t let the difficult season poison your life.
“Don’t jump to the conclusion God isn’t on the job…” I love the way Eugene Peterson translates that. Don’t let the rough road make you think you’re on the wrong path, that God isn’t on your team.
Remember God is with you, even when it’s bumpy.
Remember, beauty can come from ashes.
Remember, you are planted and not buried.
God’s got this.