Rocks to Roads

January 3, 2015

by Maria Fontaine

If you are looking at what’s ahead with some trepidation, it’s understandable. Maybe as you look back you see the struggles, uncertainty, and perhaps even events that have shaken your life. The sorrows and disappointments that at times seemed pretty overwhelming may still weigh on your heart. That can make the future seem intimidating.

Here’s the good news! As Paul expressed it, “Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.”1 In spite of all those things that can turn our lives upside down without warning, we have God’s never-failing promises that He will be right there at our side to guide and empower us and to bring His peace, comfort, and faith to fill our hearts.

He’s there to help us carry on through the storms and struggles of life. He is with us to guide us to the hope and light of the new day with Him. We can use even the difficulties we encounter to strengthen us and help us move forward.

Jesus recently gave someone who was facing intense struggles an illustration of how we can discover the potential in the things that seem negative.

Here’s the picture: Volleys of rocks are incessantly pelting you, raining down on you. It feels like you’ve been hit by an avalanche. These rocks are the troubles and setbacks and discouraging events, the sufferings and sorrows that are a part of this earth life. Even though we may at times question whether we will survive, we can choose to see these projectiles with fear and despair or we can choose to view them as God does.

I think we’ve all faced those painful and potentially debilitating volleys of “rocks” of condemnation, depression, sorrow, or fear at times. If we let them, they can cripple our future and our service to the Lord.

The good news is: we don’t have to let them do that. How they affect our lives has so much to do with our attitude toward them. We can decide whether or not to allow them to defeat us. These “rocks” we’re being hit with may be the result of distorted perceptions, misunderstandings, or wrong imaginings. Or they may be based on the reality of the situation and events that we or others face. But either way, we have a Savior who can help us dispel what isn’t real, bring a greater good from the genuine difficulties, and help us through the challenges so that we can grow wiser, stronger, and more like Him.

When we focus on the facts of God’s promises and His love for us and our loved ones, these “projectiles” that threaten destruction will instead fall, crushed on the ground at our feet, where the rains of His love can turn them into a solid path to help us on our way.

Have you ever seen crushed limestone? It looks like dusty gravel, but when it is spread over a dirt road, something very amazing happens. The rains don’t wash it away. Instead the limestone reacts to the water by becoming a very hard surface, similar to cement, that turns the rut-prone dirt into a road that is highly resistant to water and erosion.

That’s like the troubles we face in this life. When we refuse to let them defeat us and when we choose to bring them to the Lord, He can show us how to turn them into determination and greater faith to stand strong against the Enemy’s attempts to hinder us and slow us down as we venture along our path through this life.

Jesus said:

Are you feeling remorse over some mistake you made? Rather than allowing those “rocks” of frustration to beat you down, turn to Me and hold on to My promise of forgiveness. I’ll help you discover positive lessons from that mistake.

Is your mind caught up in worries or fears for a loved one or about events that threaten to disrupt your life? As soon as you recognize this, look up and thank Me for the trove of positive and heavenly things you have that you can dwell on. Remind yourself that I’ve promised to ultimately bring good, even from what is wrong or terrible in the present. Let Me help you crush those “rocks” beneath your feet with the truth of My love and My promises, until your path becomes smoother and clearer.

 If you’re being pummeled by the “rocks” of condemnation as your failure to live up to the ideal begins to deluge you, don’t give up hope. Don’t condemn yourself, don’t get mad at yourself, and don’t even bother trying to figure out ways to dodge these “rocks” by trying to excuse yourself. Just look up to Me and say: “What can I say, Jesus? I love You and You love me just as I am. I’ll keep the good lessons that I gain from my struggles and stumbles, but I won’t keep any condemnation, because I know there’s no condemnation in You.”

Or when troubles or suffering or loss seem to be coming at you from every angle and you can’t see anywhere to hide, run into My presence and hold on to Me. I’ll be there, shielding you from destruction, and will never let you go. You aren’t strong enough to face these things on your own, but I can bring you through even the most traumatic, terrifying events imaginable, and the darkest times. I’ll walk with you right on through to the victories that I have sworn to bring out of every seeming defeat.

As you take a stand at My side, the rocks will smash at your feet. Smash! Crash! They’ll shatter into a million pieces. Your path just got more solid.

As you keep walking close to Me, your path will grow more and more stable and well lit with My love, until that perfect day when we’ll fly off together to a place where the cares of this earth life will never be able to bother you again. In the meantime, when the doubts and struggles of this life come back and try to hit you from some new angle, remember the lesson of looking up and giving the battle to Me.

All things, absolutely all things, will work together for your good in the end. Sometimes it will take all the effort you can muster to not get down and discouraged at those things that make up your personal struggles as you pass through life. Many things can be disheartening, painful, humiliating, or sad. But if you look to Me, you will experience all the good of My love for you and your love for Me.

We have a wonderful future together, and you will carry on with great joy through all eternity! And someday you’ll look back and notice that that gravel road we walked together has been paved with gold!

So when you feel down, stop and take stock of the good and the blessings that have filled your life. And what about the things you wish hadn’t come into your life? Trust that in God’s time and way you’ll see how even these have come to work together for good. Anticipating all the potential and promises that lie before you, continue on your path with joy.

As you step into each new day, give what you can, praise with all your heart, fight the good fight of faith, and trust in God’s loving arms to be your shelter, your support, and your greatest joy.

1 Romans 5:20.