If you have ever driven on any road, whether it is an eight-lane interstate highway or a back country road, you know that you do not have to travel too far without encountering potholes and rough patches of asphalt or concrete. And not only that, it seems that some roads are always under construction. Those orange cones are as permanent as the landscape along side the road. Despite the constant road repair projects, the roads are still in bad condition. Earlier this year, TRIP, a national transportation research group, estimated that nineteen percent of America’s major roads are in poor condition and that it costs each motorist $516 per year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs. http://www.tripnet.org/docs/Fact_Sheet_National.pdf
Not only are many roads we drive on full of potholes and rough patches, life too is full of rough and bumpy patches. Sometimes they just cause you to tap the brake ever so gently simply to slow down, other times they are deep craters that rattle you to our core. Sometimes you see the pothole up ahead and can prepare, other times it comes out of nowhere and you find yourself upside down along side the road wondering what just happened.
None of us like when life tosses us around and our seatbelt locks in place preparing for impact. In those moments of being tossed around, or when you sit upside down in your car, despair and hopelessness often sets in. The confidence and peace you had as you were cruisin’ down the road listening to the radio has now turned to fear and worry.
Two truths can be made from this reality that life’s potholes are unavoidable. First, Jesus tells us that following Him does not promise smooth travels. Let’s look at what Jesus tells His disciples when they were worried about what would happen after He left them. In John 16:33 we read this, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus makes it clear that life will not always be easy, but that He is bigger than any earthly pothole, and putting your trust in Him will give you peace and help you navigate, sometimes through and sometimes around, the pothole. This leads us to the second truth, and that being God is always with you. He isn’t like the car repairman that you call when your car breaks down on the side of the road. When God chose Joshua to succeed Moses in leading the people into the Promised Land, here is what He told them to calm their fears. Turning to Deuteronomy Chapter 31, in verse 3, God promises to give the people victory just had He had done in the past. Then in verse 6, we read these reassuring words, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.” And in verse 8 we see a similar message, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
So today, regardless of the condition of the road you are currently on, or what the road up ahead looks like, rest assured that Jesus is with you and that He can get you through any and every situation you encounter along life’s journey. Will you trust Him fully today?