Just over two years ago we signed the lease and moved across the river. For years I heard where the road had lead but never knew how to access it or where I would end up if I actually made it there.
Our first apartment upon moving into the neighborhood over a decade ago, backed up against the river, giving a clear view of the road on the other side. As we walked or rode our bikes along the river's path, taking in the gorgeous view of the sun setting on the water and fish jumping, while listening to the trees rustle, cars meandered along the road on the other side.
Almost an unknown answer to my ongoing wonder, the Lord placed us on the other side.
The road is one lane on either side, marked with curves and potholes. Lots of potholes and bumps. With new development going in, the little road has been going through some repaving and potholes have been filled and bumps are not so bumpy.
Farms and houses frame the side opposite the river. Old trees line the road, branches hugging each other from side to side, creating tunnels where city workers have shaped the branches to allow cars enough clearance.
Knowing the road now has brought to life what I had been told but never before understood. It was not something I cared enough about to venture out to or something that captivated me fully. Just something that would lightly peek my curiosity with each passing car.
Now it is my favorite to drive, only after the initial time it took to get to know its curves and turn offs and stop signs. It makes driving a bit farther but worth the extra time in beauty, prayer and worship and photos can hardly due it justice.
Direction and guidance can be explained to us until we have an understanding but it is not until we go there - until we dare to venture to roads untraveled, the places that creep us out or are hard to get to or take longer than anticipated - that we can fully comprehend the paths that lead there. And the beauty that it holds, despite the navigation it entails. The getting there.
Coming to faith was a process of getting there. Of understanding how my thinking had been biased and the freedom that came with it was not entirely for the good of those involved like I had believed. It was a process of crossing over from death to life, which has become a process of moving from shallow to depth.
As we savor this Christmas season and celebrate the birth of Jesus, I pray that you would see the roads that the Lord has brought you to, the ones that were meant to be untraveled and those that he turned into roundabouts in his grace and the ones yet to cross. Praying that if you have heard about Jesus and his love that but have never understood it, that this Christmas would be the one that changes everything as you meander over to the other side. Praying that if it is depth that your faith is lacking, that you would have the courage to dive in, truth in the faithfulness of God.
May you celebrate the season, knowing God is with you.
+Read Matthew 1:18-25. What is the meaning of Emmanual (vs. 23)?
+ What is your understanding of Jesus as Savior this Christmas? Do you know him as Emmanuel or something else? Find time to pray about it.
+ How would / does knowing that God is with you change the road you find yourself on today?
Originally posted in The Inspire Monthly newsletter, December 2018. Join the adventure to be the first to get it straight to your inbox, along with other fun tidbits from the shop.