By Orlando Cabrera
I’m not one who necessarily loves road trips. In fact, if given a choice I would always pick getting on a plane and getting to my destination as quickly as possible. My wife, on the other hand, grew up taking long road trips to everywhere in the continental United States; seeing almost every land monument our great country has to offer. We couldn’t be more opposite when it comes to that. However, over the last few years we have engaged in taking family road trips, and I have to admit they have been a ton of fun and the memories made were nothing short of awesome. Yet, all of this got me thinking about my spiritual walk with the Lord. You see, a lot of times I just want God to take me wherever He is leading me in the quickest way possible. Other times I want God to do whatever He is going to do in my life as fast as He can do it. In these seasons, I’m not necessarily interested in stopping to smell the roses or marvel at some amazing natural wonder along the way. I just want out of the car, so to speak.
And I’m probably not alone in that.
In fact, I know that I’m not alone.
We see in the Book of Psalms, the psalmist asking “How long O Lord?” and we see a similar cry in Habakkuk chapter 1. My kids often ask me, as their Dad, and as the one who is driving the vehicle, “how long until we get there?” so it may seem like a fitting and logical question. But the issue comes when the question is rooted in restlessness and struggle, leading to doubt that seeks to rob you of joy and peace, rather than a question that is rooted in longing for a place, promise or person. You see, there is no way around it for any child of God. This walk with the Lord is a journey and it’s a journey that is walked out in faith. It’s a journey that does end for the believer in Christ in a definitive destination; victoriously at home in heaven in the presence of the Lord Himself. But, it is still a journey filled with what can feel like lots of uncertainties that can leave us asking “How long O Lord?”
I have two children and both of them share these same realities; they have to trust in their father to get them to where we are going, to take care of them on the journey, and neither of them can take control of the wheel…What they can differ in is their perspective of the trip.
Now I’m sure you can see that some of this is just me teasing, but there are some similarities here in my journey with the Lord. I am confronted with a decision to trust in my Father’s ability to get me safely to the place He is leading, care for me as we travel, and understand that He is far better equipped to lead my life than I am. But, it is also up to me to guard my perspective and my feelings regarding the journey and the worthiness of the One leading me.
In this season, I have felt the Lord graciously meet me in my “How long O Lord?” moments and reorient me in such a way to bring me back to a few certain truths.
1.) Though the things that I walk through are; His character, His leading and His purposes are for good. (Romans 8:28, Psalm 23, Lamentations 3:22-26)
2.) Even through my doubts, restlessness and even, dare I say, moments of ingratitude, God is faithful to me. (2 Timothy 2:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:24)
3.) When I put my true faith and hope in God, He will sustain me and make sure that I am not disappointed. (Hebrews 10:23, Romans 5:1-5, Psalm 145:16-17)
Our spiritual journeys don’t come with a GPS that grant us an ETA, nor do they guarantee us alternate routes where we won’t experience the congestions of hardship and trials. Yet what the saved, redeemed, adopted child of God through Christ has is a certainty that every bump, pit stop, sudden slam of the brakes, and open patch of road is filled with divine purpose and enough of God’s grace and goodness to encourage us as we go. So may we “set our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2) and may we neither wander from the path set before us nor grow weary in our journey; for our Guide, our Father, Friend and Shepherd is faithful. By faith may we journey on in hope, certainty and deep conviction…