The Road—I would less like to travel by

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 10:58 PM

I hesitate to continue to refer to my experience over the last seven weeks because I understand that they are my experiences not yours and that I may feel them deeply but you probably don’t. With that risk in mind I need to share another devotional thought with you, this time about going where you don’t really want to go.

Who ever says I want to loose my job just as my kids enter college, or who says I am so glad I lost my wife at such a young age? Who says I am so glad my kids have been rebellious or my parents are in great need of care and I have no room to care for them or money to pay for it. While I spent my days in the NICU I noticed a group of great people but I never noticed anyone really rejoicing that they were there.

I must admit people who have it all together during difficult moments make me nervous and extremely skeptical. Some of course do have it all together but the majority are just like you and me are just trying to cope the best they know how and are taking it one day at a time.

If we had our way of course we never experience difficulties in life. We would sail right alone and the sun would always shine, good health would be our constant friend, our kids would always mind not to mention they would always do well in school. Our boss would give us the money we deserve, our family would be the picture of harmony and we would never argue with our spouse.

Here is the deal, we don’t have it our way and so many times in life all of us will have to travel roads that we would just as soon avoid. Seven weeks ago I was expecting the normal; good pregnancy for my wife, healthy baby born, the family celebrates, the insurance pays, the baby comes home in three days and life is great. That unfortunately was not in the plans and thus I have begun to travel an unfamiliar road of hospitals, insurance issues, government programs not to mention at first disappointment. Fear of the unknown has become a constant companion. I have learned new meaning to the words ‘taking it one day at a time’.

If I would have had the choice of course I would not have traveled this road, but no one asked me and hear I am. I am sure of this God had something in it for me, something to draw me closer to Him. He has used it to draw me closer to Him and to reveal Himself in ways I never knew existed. So what if I had traveled my road, what would have missed? Good question and here are some answers to that.

  • I would have missed the chance to be a real father to my family, helping them through difficult times. I had become lazy in that area and had a sudden wake up call.
  • I would have missed the chance to be a better husband. Meaningful conversations, holding hands, helping with chores, protecting her from business aspects as she cared for our child and crying together would have been missed. I feel closer to my wife than I have in a long time.
  • I would have missed my older children stepping up to the plate in a big way. I would have missed seeing them act as adults which of course they are but it is hard to admit. I would have missed watching them love and care for Gracie. I would have missed them crying and holding her with compassion.
  • I would have missed meeting a whole set of people whose very life is to care for sick babies and there families.
  • I would have missed a hundred conversations about God that would have never happened otherwise.
  • I would have missed sitting with people and really for once understanding at least a little how they feel.
  • I would have missed some great phone calls with close friends and some family members I had not talked to for months or years.
  • I would have missed seeing how really wonderful my church family is. I had watched with admiration as they cared for people in the past and now I was able to receive it. What a family!
  • I would have missed knowing what it really means to ‘feel the prayers’ of friends, family and people I do not even know.
  • The biggest loss is I would have missed holding Gracie and looking in her eyes and loving her so much. Wanting to whisk her in my arms and make sure life is good to her.

I could have gone on for another three pages but I believe you get the point. Would I have traveled the road no, but look what I would have missed. I know I have just begun a new journey in life but I am certain God is there with me because he has proven to be there for me as we take the first steps.

It is hard to see at times but God has a plan for our lives and I am thankful He reveals it to us slowly; otherwise of course we could not handle it. Maybe God has started you on an unwanted road; know this He goes there with you, know this He cares for you and know this He does not waste any experience in life on you, each one comes with a purpose. Sometimes the lessons learned are hard but with God they come with a purpose.

I am no expert on difficult roads many of you have been on them for years and have far more experience than I. But this I know; Gods light shines brightest on the roads we lest want to travel.

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 1:3&4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we honestly do not understand your ways. We struggle with tough roads and circumstances; we ask not that you show us the reason why but that we simply feel your presence while on the journey. You are a good God and we praise your name that you care for us and walk with us! We ask these things in the precious name of Jesus our Savior.