Hebrews 1:3 “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Sometimes in the ordinary activities of life we are suddenly confronted with a change in plans. We start out doing the same old, same old, but an unplanned and unpleasant event disrupts our regular routine. Suddenly the smooth path we have been travelling becomes bumpy. How does one cope with such an unexpected turn of events?
The other day I started my usual walk down our road. I plodded along, lost in thought about the day’s events, when a flash of orange caught my eye. Looking up I saw a new sign on the side of my usual route that read, “Rough Road.” Surveying the situation more carefully I saw that a swath of asphalt had been cut out on either side of the bridge leaving two low strips about a foot wide and 3 inches deep. If I had not been paying attention I would have stumbled and hurt myself.
This sudden change in my routine walk brought again to my mind some sad events of the past weeks. While going through the ordinary routines of life, a number of our friends were suddenly confronted with a stretch of rough road. Out of the blue, it seemed, tragedy struck and suddenly the smooth path was strewn with potholes of reeling emotions and overwhelming grief.
When a person becomes a Christian it is often easy to think that life from now on will be a straight and even highway to heaven. We are children of the King, so shouldn’t our lives be easy? This misunderstanding of the journey of faith is a huge reason why many end up turning aside. Moving forward is easy while the path ahead is clear, but as soon as a rough patch surfaces many abandon the faith with disillusionment.
But the Bible gives many signposts to warn of rough road. 1 Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.” James also instructs us to “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (James 1:1-2).”
We are warned that these patches of rough road will come, but how do we keep moving forward with such tremendous difficulties before us?
Keeping in mind that Jesus our Savior upholds all things by the word of His power is a great comfort. He is the Creator and everything in heaven and earth belongs to Him. Despite all the forces that surround us, the Lord has ultimate authority and can control every circumstance with a single word. The winds and waves respond to His rebuke. The sick are healed and even the dead raised with a command from His lips. While our grief with difficult circumstances is very real, we can be assured that each stretch of rough road we encounter is not an error or mistake.
We may never understand God’s purposes, but we can be assured that He loves us and feels our pain. Nothing happens without His knowledge and apart from His love. During these times we must focus our eyes on His face and rely on Him to give us the power to take the next step, and then the next, and the next. By trusting Him completely we will in time experience His peace that overshadows our understanding of our circumstances.
There is rough road ahead for all who belong to the Lord. The Bible gives numerous warning signs. Yet we do not need to fear the rugged path ahead when we remember Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. All things are under His control and not one detail escapes His notice. Keep your eyes on Him, hold his hand with every step, and despite the patches of rough road you will make it safely home!