Think of a Fast Car Commercial. Out in the desert, where the highway is straight as an arrow. No limits. No tickets. No slowpokes. Just speed in the Wide Open. Buy this car and rush hour will feel just like this! The car slides smoothly into a skid, spraying dust, and life is grand and free. I do envy those drivers for their 30 seconds of glory. But when my life was a wide-open desert highway, it was not a symbol of freedom and exhilaration. It was a symbol of depression.
I was in my late teens, a time that should be full of hope for the future. Instead, life was an endless, barren stretch of road. That was the picture in my head. No purpose. No color. No hope. Once upon a time there was a beautiful plan for my life, written by God, and all I had to do was take His hand. Now, I figured I had messed up so badly that God would never be able to use me for what he had originally intended.
It was time to hit the road and accept the truth: I would do nothing more than take up space, waste oxygen, and go through the motions of what was expected of me in this life. Eventually, I’d grow old and die. It was one of the saddest moments in my life when I realized that was actually how I felt about my future.
Do you want to know what got me to that point? Sin. Sorry for the trite answer. Seriously, though. Unconfessed sin. There’s really nothing trite about sin. King David wrote in Psalm 32:3 “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.” I wanted to write that, in our culture, image is everything. But I have to write that, in my heart, it was pride, plain and simple. No one can know. Especially not Mom. And because I could never confess, I could never get help. That was exactly where the enemy wanted me.
But God’s plans cannot be thwarted. Despite my best efforts to sabotage what He knew would be best for me, He would still work those things out. He would take my failure and disgrace and weave them into a story of radiant redemption. He was maybe just a tiny bit sneaky about it, too. A simple question I asked my mother turned into a frank conversation (read: confession I hadn’t planned on making) which turned into a Bible study which turned into accountability which turned into victory which turned into freedom and the ability to talk honestly with others about good things. Grace. Joy. Peace. Purity. God is amazing. His forgiveness is complete, His healing is magical.
“Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” (Psalm 32:5)
Somehow, He turned that horrible endless stretch of boring, hopeless despair into the greatest road trip ever! Life now looks like a winding road up through hills and mountains, through country and cities, and it is colorful, musical, and exciting! It’s a wild adventure driving with Jesus. But I tell you, there is no roadmap or GPS that could possibly hold all the details of a life well lived in the hands of God.
My image may have fallen off like a rusty bumper long ago, but I don’t care. Jesus can drive, and I’ll rest my head on His shoulder. This is His promise:
“Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’” (Psalm 32:6-8) PRAISE HIM!