Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The End of the Road

Our first trip to Juneau, Alaska was for our son’s wedding. Juneau is an interesting city. It is bordered by water and mountains. There are only two ways in and out, by ship or by plane. While we were there, my son and his future wife took us to the end of the road. As you might imagine the end of the road is just what it sounds like. It simply goes as far as it can go and it stops. It had been determined that it would be cost prohibitive to try to build a road through the mountains. Therefore the road ends.

“The end of the road” reminds me of life. Along the journey of life, we often come to the end of the road. We come to that place in life, where we simply can not go forward. When we arrive at such a juncture, we need not be discouraged. Some of the most exciting people in the Scripture encountered God in the most powerful manner after they had come to the end of the road. In II Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat found himself at the end of the road. The nation was facing an attack from a superior force and it appeared that they were going to be defeated. In his desperation he turned to God and said, “O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on Thee.” (II Chronicles 20:12) God replied to Jehoshaphat, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (II Chronicles 20:15b)

Daniel came to the end of the road when he continued to pray to his God after the king had decreed that everyone should pray only to him for the next thirty days. For his obedience to God, Daniel was thrown into a den of lions. He found himself at the end of the road. The next day when he was retrieved from the lions den he said to the king, “My God sent His angel and shut the lion’s mouths, and they have not harmed me” (Daniel 6:22a

This is two of many examples of end of the road experiences in the Scripture. These two men who lived at different times and places shared several things in common. First, they were faithful to God and sought to do His will. Second, they were faced with situations they realized were bigger than they were. Third, they were wise enough to turn to the only One who could get them beyond the end of the road. Fourth, they received supernatural assistance from the God they trusted.

Their God is the same God that we worship today. He has not changed. When we come to our end of the road circumstances in life, we need to remember, like Jehoshaphat and Daniel; we have someone to call upon who is bigger than our problems. It has been my personal experience that the end of the road is the place where I often find the closest and most intimate encounter with the One who is able to deliver me and move me beyond the end of the road. It is at the end of the road that my faith grows, because it is there that I can no longer depend on my own ingenuity and I must turn to the One who is able. For this reason, while it is still a place that I would rather not go, I no longer view the end of the road as a bad place. Instead, it has become a place where I have the opportunity to see God work on my behalf.

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