We sat on the edge of her bed watching our legs dangling toward the floor. Everything about the day had been usual and the conversation that came was completely unexpected.
“How can I pray for you tonight?” I spoke into the silence. She looked at me as if to assess if she could really trust me with what was on her heart. I sat silently waiting for the decision. “Mom,” she finally said, “why does it seem like everyone else has an amazing life and nothing at all is ever easy for us?”
I’ll be honest, my heart sank. That’s not exactly what you hope to hear coming out of your pre-teen daughter’s mouth. But I’m not one of those moms who can follow up a statement like that with a lecture on contentment.
In many ways she was totally right. Our life had been hard and most days didn’t seem much easier. In fact, there were many times when my own heart cried the same tears, if I’m being honest. Why isn’t anything easy? Why does it seem like God allows sunshine on the lives of some and torrential downpours on the lives of others?
Why does it seem like others always travel on the smooth, pain-free highway while we’re bumping along on the dirty, dusty, gravel road praying for a stretch of highway?
This has become more evident to me as my children have gotten older. For years, they have clung to the truths of God and padded themselves with God’s Word to soften the blows while riding in the backseat of a covered wagon on a road full of potholes. At first, they didn’t know any different. But as they’ve grown, it’s become evident to them that other people are traveling on the highway in a cushy Lexus with the a/c blowing and radio blasting.
It hardly seems fair. And I’ll be honest, it’s hard to explain this to one whose heart is not yet grown. But, the truth is… seeing life with this outlook doesn’t at all match up with the way God wants us to see it.
We must remember that God is in the heavens. The Bible says He does whatever He pleases. He not only put the world in motion, He controls every detail of our life. And you know the best part? He promised that His plan is beyond what we can ask, think, or imagine (Eph. 3:20) and that every detail is ALWAYS and ultimately working for our good (Romans 8:28).
If we are bitter, hopeless, angry, or hurting, it’s likely that our vision has been skewed by the circumstance and we’ve lost sight of what God has indeed promised us. (And for the record- it’s likely that the highways our friends enjoy aren’t quite as lovely as we see them. Even the highway has potholes.)
The truth: sometimes the road is bumpy, dirty, full of rocks and gravel, yet by His infinite and merciful grace, God loves us right through it. This is our opportunity to praise Him with joy in our hearts, looking forward to the next highway where the path is smooth and the pain is little. But until then, we can find joy in His presence, knowing that the rocks are the very thing keeping us close to Him.
My friend, if the circumstances are swirling around and you find yourself falling flat on the rocks of the dirty gravel road, I’d love to invite you to join a 31-day email series I’ve written just for you. Click the image below for more details…