by Michelle Welch
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)
While driving out to California from Texas, Sweetheart and I took turns behind the wheel. During one particularly long stretch of desert highway, I found myself looking off to the horizon wondering when we would get to the mountains in the distance. For the last few hours it seemed like we were almost there. Yet it didn’t appear that we were any closer now than when I had slid into the driver’s seat several hundred miles ago. Why did our destination still seem so far away?
Years ago I had traveled down this same highway. I had put it out of my mind as a painful part of my past. Then as the miles ticked by, flashes of memory came rushing in. While Sweetheart slept (snored) beside me, I revisited the journey that changed the course of my life forever. But this time I saw it through the eyes of someone else. Someone who had traveled that road in fear of the future.
When the green, vibrant part of your life changes to a dull, flat, brown expanse of hostile environment, where do you go to find courage? When the map in your lap shows only squiggly lines with no pictures of closed-up hotels, unaffordable tourist destinations along with few-and-far-between fuel stops, what do you do to stop the panic that rises up in your throat in a choking gasp? When your wallet holds only a few crumpled dollars along with a small piece of paper on which is written the address of your future, how do you see through the darkness of pain?
Her future was uncertain. Her life had gone from full to empty in the blink of an eye. Her eyes had taken in her whining, sleeping teenagers, her aging car, her u-haul trailer. Her mind had swirled with the aloneness that spread out before her like the desert she was driving through. Her destination seemed so far away. I don’t know if she prayed. I like to think she did, but somehow I am filled with the knowledge that she did not believe that God was making that journey with her. She did not understand why, and the blame and anger at Him welled up in her as each mile flashed by.
I wish she had known God like I know Him. I wish she could have leaned into Him and let His peace wash over her. I wish she could have seen that it was all for good. I wish she had known the story of Joseph and how, after years of living in the desert parts of life, he had told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” (Gen 50:20) Because, in spite of the pain, in spite of the fear, in spite of everything bad that rushed closer and closer, it all worked out for good. God used everything—every moment, every tear, every dusty, lonely, doubt-ridden mile to bring about events that would, in the end, change lives forever.
I am grateful that now, when I make long, lonely trips through the deserts of life, I have a Father in Heaven who knows exactly how the journey will end. For when we see that “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed,” (2 Cor 4:8-9) we can fix our eyes on the unseen, trusting that He will be along for the ride on a route He planned out in advance.
My dearest Adonai, my Heavenly Father, You are the creator of my future, the Light of my travels, the mapmaker for my journey. I am so grateful for everything You have allowed me to experience on the road of life. You have allowed me to learn and grow, ultimately welcoming me home from the desert. Thank You Father for creating eternity with You as my life destination. I pray this prayer of gratitude in the Name of Christ Jesus, Amen.
© 2013, by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved. Breath of Life Women’s Ministries.
Photography © 2013 by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved. Scripture from NIV Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.