This past week, MAX LUCADO wrote an opinion piece for USA TODAY. He began with these SIX WORDS: “How much more can we take?”
“A mass shooting in Las Vegas. Puerto Rico continues to reel in the wake of yet another devastating hurricane. Mexico City remains in a state of earthquake induced decimation – families left homeless and innocent lives taken. Wars and rumors of wars rumble in North Korea, threatening our allies and our homeland. And when we turn to our personal lives, it doesn’t seem much better: financial stress, health crises and relational strife.
Do you ever just feel worn out? Ready to check out, you turn off the TV, shut down your phone, pull the blanket over your head and hope it will go away by morning?”1
Max didn’t mention the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Of all the things that have happened in the past month, none of them could be considered fair and the majority of people in each situation were innocent victims of something they didn’t choose.
So what do we do when life isn’t fair? God says, “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths” (Proverbs 4:11/NIV).
But what happens when our path isn’t straight?
In his book, Street Smarts from Proverbs, Mitch Kruse said, “When I auctioned collector cars, I noticed astute automobile aficionados who would stand at one end of a car and look down the side to make sure that the metal was evenly applied and free of cheap filers. A straight line is also valued by race car drivers, who want to maintain the straightest line possible in order to achieve the highest speeds around the track.” 2
When life doesn’t seem fair, evil seems to prevail and God seems a million miles away … what do we do?
We like straight paths.
But life isn’t one continuous straight path. More often than not, it’s a series of dips and curves, detours and ditches, fender benders and sometimes, life-enders.
What do we do then?
We can do everything right and everything still go wrong. Sometimes, we find ourselves victims of someone else’s choices. And we get no say in the matter. Like Sunday night in Las Vegas.
Is God’s Word true or just sometimes true?
KRUSE continues … “I was sitting in a Pontiac Bonneville at the start-finish line of the Daytona International Speedway with its president behind the wheel. He took off toward turn one’s steep embankment, cruising at eighty-four miles per hour as he nonchalantly instructed me about the intricate design of the course. My face must have matched my white knuckles as we raced for the wall when he mentioned, ‘This track is designed with an embankment that guarantees the driver never need turn the wheel at eighty-four miles per hour.’”3
God has so designed the path for our lives that it leads straight to Heaven.
That doesn’t mean it’ll always be easy or always be fair. Paul told Timothy, “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).
It doesn’t mean there won’t be suffering or sacrifice. In 2 Timothy 2:3, he said, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
It doesn’t mean it will always be enjoyable. The Hebrew writer said, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
MITCH KRUSE concludes: “In a similar way, God constructs the course of our lives so that we can faithfully serve Him. When we place all our trust in God, we may get dinged by others in the race, but we know He’ll keep us from hitting the wall.”4
When life doesn’t seem fair, makes no sense, evil seems to prevail and God seems a million miles away … what do we do?
Stay the course.
Don’t give up.
Don’t give in.
Learn everything you can.
Be encouraged and be hopeful.
Because … God is still leading us in wisdom along a path He ordained and designed. You won’t hit the wall, because God has designed the course of your life to lead straight to Heaven.
Just keep going.
© 2017. Barry L. Cameron
1 Lucado, Max. “Vegas Shooting: The Land of the Stars & Stripes Has Become a Country of Stress & Strife.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 2 Oct. 2017, www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/10/02/las-vegas-shooting-prayer-way-combat-our-national-anxiety-max-lucado-column/722771001/. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/10/02/las-vegas-shooting-prayer-way-combat-our-national-anxiety-max-lucado-column/722771001/
2 Kruse, Mitch, and D. J. Williams. Street Smarts from Proverbs: How to Navigate through Conflict to Community. FaithWords, 2017. Pg. 83
3 Kruse, Mitch, and D. J. Williams. Street Smarts from Proverbs: How to Navigate through Conflict to Community. FaithWords, 2017. Pg. 83
4 Kruse, Mitch, and D. J. Williams. Street Smarts from Proverbs: How to Navigate through Conflict to Community. FaithWords, 2017. Pg. 83
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.