Summary: God’s promise is that His children never travel through life alone
CAUTION: WINDING ROAD AHEAD!
I’ve been thinking about roads lately and the important role they play in our day to day living. Roads lead us to many places.
When I was in grade 7 I entered an art contest. A local radio station asked children to submit a drawing. Every Friday, for 6 weeks, they gave a prize to the week’s best entry. The theme of my drawing was the Wizard of Oz – Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin-man walking down the yellow brick road. I coloured the drawing with a brand new pack of pencil crayons - it looked really good – I put it in an envelope and sent it off to the radio station.
The following Friday, the day they announced the week’s winner, I was glued to the radio…and guess who won that week? Me!!!!! The first prize for each winner was a trip for two to Florida -flight and accommodation for 5 days and a pass for two to Disney World! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go. I vowed that one-day I would make it to that sunny place where blue skies, palm trees, and white sand meet the warm Atlantic Ocean. 7 years ago I made that trip… Shirley (my wife), Emily (my daughter who was then 8 months old), and I crammed into our jam packed Chrysler Acclaim and headed south. We drove up and down the endless miles of the Pennsylvania-mountain-roads.
In Tennessee we drove along forested roads and encountered fog so thick that at times we couldn’t see more than two or three meters in front of us. Just on the outskirts of Tennessee we stopped for dinner at Taco Bell. I got food poisoning and thought I was going to die before reaching my palm trees. After a roll of Tums, a small bottle of pepto bismal, several washroom breaks and what seemed like an eternity of strong abdominal cramps I spotted my palm trees and the welcome sign to Florida – we made it!
Roads are an important part of our lives. They lead us to church and they lead us home. Roads lead us down the street to our neighbour and across town to work. They lead us to the bakery and to the gym. They lead us to the ice cream parlor and to the park for a leisurely stroll. Some roads lead to sunny destinations lined with palm trees and others to snow covered mountains. Roads lead us to the hospital to celebrate the birth of new family members and to funeral homes and cemeteries to remember loved ones. Roads lead us to warm family reunions and also to courtrooms where heated custody battles take place.
There are all kinds of roads: Long roads and dead end roads; paved roads and gravel roads; level roads and rolling roads; winding roads and straight roads, smooth roads and bumpy roads.
Recently as I was looking through my Bible the topic of roads and journeys captured my attention.
· In Genesis, Abram, a wealthy, comfortable, established man trusts in God and sets off on strange unfamiliar roads to an unknown land and an uncertain future. (Genesis 12:1-5) The journey he took led him from independence to dependence upon God, from barrenness, infertility, and unfulfilled dreams to being the fulfilled father of a great nation.
· Also in Genesis we find young Joseph journeying from the comfort of his father’s home to a pit of envy and onto slavery in Egypt. Many years later his family traveled along those very same roads to Egypt where experienced forgiveness and life!
· In Exodus we find Moses leading the nation of Israel out of Egypt, out of slavery, along roads built by their own sweat and blood.
· Later on we find the Israelites on a dead end road. They were stuck between an angry sea and the fast approaching Egyptian Army. That road which seemed to be a dead end was miraculously extended through the sea as God parted the waters allowing His people safe escape.
· Later on in the Old Testament we find A very young man travelling along a road to bring food to his older brothers who were battling the Philistines. That road led him to a place where he honoured God and became a hero by defeating the Giant Goliath.
· Later on we find a road leading three faithful young men into a fiery furnace because they chose to follow God no matter the cost. In the same area of the Old Testament we find another man being lead along a road to a lions Den.
· In the New Testament A road lead Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem
· A road also lead soldiers to homes where innocent children were murdered.