Monday, May 8, 2017

“Road to the Sun”

By Susanne Scheppmann

Key Verse:
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6: 66-69 (NIV)
 It was supposed to be a wonderful day. My husband and I were camping in scenic Glacier National Park and we planned to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road The thirty-eight mile road wound up the steep mountainside to the summit where we planned to picnic and enjoy the view. We loaded the car with snacks, ice cold drinks and high expectations.  
It all started so well, to end up so disastrously.

Now I will admit, warnings preceded our adventure. “Leave early in the morning to avoid traffic congestion. Plan on a five-hour drive. Watch out for road construction. There is limited parking at the summit.” We ignored the warnings and set out assuring ourselves for a day of delightful views and comfortable companionship. We headed out and started the arduous ascent in our small SUV. The road was literally bumper to bumper traffic—stop and go. Our vehicle determined that it was too much of a climb and the transmission sputtered on each start and stop. The situation became so dire that I jumped out of the car and ran to the vehicle behind us. I said, “Our clutch and transmission are acting up. Please stay a safe distance behind as we start and stop up the climb.” 

We barely made it to the summit where we planned to pull over. However, the summit was so crowded they had closed the parking and the park ranger insisted we keep driving. In disbelief, we inched down the hill. I needed to use the restroom. I was hungry. And my husband and I were disenchanted with each other.

Isn’t this how our walk with Jesus is sometimes? We start out filled with anticipation and expectation. At first, it seems as if nothing could ever go awry. Life couldn’t be any better. You are on the road with the Son of God. What could go wrong?

Then eventually life starts to unravel a bit. Things go awry. A friend betrays you. Your child rebels. Or you find yourself single and wonder how that happened? You ask yourself, “Why did Jesus allow this?” We become disheartened with our walk of faith. We ask ourselves “What’s the point?”

Fortunately, this doesn’t surprise Jesus. He understood that life would be hard for us. He warned his followers, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world John 16:33 (NLT).” Trials and sorrows are part of life, but Jesus gives peace even in the darkest moments of life. 

Today if you are wondering, “what’s the point of following Jesus?” I would ask you to hang on until the next bend in the road of life. Life will always have its ups and downs, its surges and stalls. But with Jesus Christ as your traveling companion, He will help you navigate through the arduous terrain with the assurance of peace. Take heart and travel life’s road with the Son. 

Dear Lord, life is not as I expected it to be. I am going through a difficult time and my faith is floundering. Please Lord Jesus give me your peace and help me to understand that you are in control at all times—in both the good and the bad. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application steps: 
Reread our Key Verse today. Ask yourself, “Where else is there to go but to the Son of God, Jesus Christ.?” Then memorize John 16:33 and allow it to be a comfort to your heart and soul when life becomes a rocky terrain.

 Am I surprised when difficulties drift into my life?

What lessons are there to be learned when I am angry and disappointed with my circumstances?

Will I choose to follow Jesus even when my hopes and expectations are not realized?

Power verses:
John 14:27, ““I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (NLT)
Romans 8:35-37, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (NLT)

© 2010 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

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