I’ve taken on a new assignment at work recently. A big one. Biggest one yet (at least for me). I volunteered for it — knowing that it was going to be hard — because I felt so strongly that it needed to be done, and because it was an opportunity to dramatically improve the lives and workloads of my entire team. Problem is, I know that it is significantly beyond my personal skill set. I find myself reminding the Lord regularly that if He doesn’t sovereignly intervene and make this happen, I will almost certainly fail.
So anyways. I was out jogging before sunrise the other day. 10th street is all ripped up due to some scheduled road construction. The asphalt has been scraped off down to the dirt, so now it is just a bare path with no streetlights. As I first entered that part of the road, I could see it fairly well, despite the pre-dawn darkness. Light from the nearby neighborhood dimly illuminated the road — enough to tell that it was freshly-graded and lightly graveled. I could tell that it was flat and smooth and safe to jog on, without any ankle-wrenching ruts or holes.
However, 50 yards further on and over the hill, and suddenly I was plunged into utter blackness. I couldn’t even see my feet anymore, let alone the ground. If you have ever run on a dirt road in inky dark, you know how un-nerving it can be. You become hyper-attuned to every footfall not knowing what to expect. I could feel my heart-rate accelerate and my nerves tighten. I considered slowing my gait down to a safer walking speed, but I guess I’m kinda stubborn and I really didn’t want to change my pace.
So after a moment’s thought, I reassured myself with the logic that the crew that carved the road where I could see it, was the same crew that carved it here where I couldn’t see it. Suddenly I felt confident that the same equipment and skill that had smoothed the road so carefully at the visible end would have been used right on over the hill. And so I continued jogging with renewed confidence… and I wasn’t disappointed; the road-crew’s craftsmanship proved trustworthy indeed.
It was about then that the Lord seemed to whisper to me and say, “So. I understand you are a little worried about your assignment at work. You feel like you are in way over your head and you can’t see what’s around the corner, or even where to place your next step. Perhaps you feel like you are running in the dark?”
As soon as the words crossed my mind, I gazed up at the stars with a huge grin and said, “Thank You, Lord. I get it.” Because suddenly I knew that the same God Who had so skillfully smoothed the road to get me this far in my job, could be fully counted on all the way to the road’s end. I’m learning that faith means abandoning yourself in the dark to the One Who has proven Himself trustworthy in the light. I have seen His handiwork clearly, back on the bright part of the road; there’s no reason to slacken my pace now.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, . . . because
He. will. make. your. paths. smooth.”
(Proverbs 3:5-6; my translation)