The Way Forward
I was excited. I put on a pair of blue jeans and a pretty colourful blouse. I wore gold studs on my ears; a light gold chain and my little gold cross around my neck. I placed a fancy bracelet on my right wrist and my little watch on the left one. I dabbed a smidgeon of perfume on my neck and my arms. Mmm! I liked its fragrance. I brushed my newly washed hair. I gingerly placed my sand shoe on my right foot, donning it very carefully so I didn’t hurt my foot. Then I slid my left foot into its matching shoe. I gave myself a quick glance in our full length mirror, smiling at myself for good measure.
It was almost time for my friend Anna to arrive. Shouting a hurried farewell to my son, I opened our front door, locked it behind me and started a slow walk down our steep driveway. Yes, a slow and steady descent it was, a right foot that didn’t quite work properly but one astute enough to follow my lead… and eventually I managed it.
It was another triumphant outing in the life and times of Anusha Chandrika Atukorala – one who has been mainly been reclining on her bed for 8 long weeks. As I reached the road, I sat down on a rock to wait for Anna. How fresh the cool air felt against my skin. How musical the breezes as they laughed and danced around our neighbourhood, teasing the trees and making them talk animatedly. The air felt much cooler than it had been for weeks and I enjoyed its exuberant touch – like that of a glad, silken robe around me.
I looked around me breathing a thank you to God for His gifts to me that day. A brand new day; a friend who was taking me out; even the joy of experiencing His creation first hand, something I didn’t do as often as I liked these days. I looked up. Up above on the right were ominous grey clouds, looking as if they were bursting with rain drops. I turned my head to the left. There they were again – more large clouds painted in grey, looking sinister and ugly.
Their boasting had to be just bluster though. After all, the day's weather predictions had assured me a day that was clear and bright. I looked straight ahead of me. There at last was the promise of the beautiful day it would become. No grey clouds – not one. Only sunlight filtering through a few fluffy white clouds – dancing golden beams on a white cotton boat sitting proudly on an expanse of blue. Bright beautiful colours but not even one sliver of grey.
I smiled with God as I heard His message loud and clear. Life is often like that isn’t it? Lots of grey on the left of me. Sickness? Disappointment? Heartache? Strife? Lots of grey on the right of me. Loneliness? Difficult choices? Misunderstanding? Rejection?
But as a follower of Jesus I do possess the best way forward. The way forward may be only a tiny opening in between two large canvases of grey and mist and fuzz. But that’s the way of God. “Narrow is the path to life and few are those who find it” said Jesus.
When we live God’s way – there are times when life bops us hard on the head. Sometimes obedience to Him doesn’t bring short term rewards. Only more pain. Trusting may seem futile even as the grey clouds pile up and the rain drops begin to fall.
But God gently nudges me and lifts me up. He points my face to the best way forward. He asks me not to look at the grey clouds on either side of me. Instead to look ahead – at His path for me. He tells me to glory in the rewards that await me. And to trust Him who is in full control of my future.
He leads me then; the sunshine dancing ahead and new sunbeams lightly touching my skin, their warmth caressing me like a soft puppy as he snuggles contentedly against me.
God whispers in my ear.
“The way forward is right ahead of you. Do not turn to the left or the right.”
Yes, I will go forward, Lord. I will trust you wholly. I will travel with joy.
With my hand in Yours; my Redeemer, my Lord and my Friend.