My last article (Quay County Sun, Jan. 6) described how God changed our Christmas vacation plans and that because his ways are higher than our ways, his plans always have a better outcome for us than we had in mind (Isaiah 55:8-9; Ephesians 3:20-21; Romans 8:28). This article is based on our return trip.
Although the rain in the central and eastern United States caused by a storm named Goliath had stopped, the Mississippi and Ohio River Watersheds were still draining toward St. Louis and southern Missouri causing the smaller tributaries to back up and flood the flatlands and some valleys. We planned to drive through that area and get to southwest Missouri on Jan. 1, but on New Year’s Eve, a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 44 just west of St. Louis was closed and the Mississippi wasn’t expected to crest until the next day. So, I found an alternate route for that stretch of road praying that God would open the Interstate for us.
The next day, we got a good start and passed through southern Indiana and Illinois where the cornfields were flooded, but the road had remained clear. St. Louis didn’t appear to have been flooded; nonetheless, we turned on our GPS to find the inner city street intersection where our detour started. As we approached our interstate exit, there was a large electronic informational sign over Interstate 44 stating that the road ahead of us had been opened.
As we passed through the flooded area, we saw that the water was still about halfway up the ground floor of many buildings and there was a lot of floating debris – it was a mess! The water was still lapping at the road’s edge, but any debris on the road had been cleared away.
As I thought about this part of our trip, besides the fact that God hears and answers the prayers of his children, I was reminded that we all have a road to travel depending on our choices (Joshua 24:14-15; John 7:17). God wants us to take the narrow road to eternal life, but our sin blocks our way (Matthew 7:13-14; Isaiah 59:1-2; Jeremiah 5:25). Therefore, God cleared the road through Jesus’ sacrifice so that, by submitting to his plan of salvation, we allow God to remove the debris of sin (John 3:16-21; Mark 16:16; Colossians 2:9-12; Ephesians 2:11-14; Titus 3:4-7; Acts 2:38-39; 22:16). As God cleared the road at years’ end/beginning, at baptism we begin a new life on a clear road to eternal life.
I also remembered that, like the water lapping at the road’s edge, no matter how mature we become as Christians, sin still crouches at the door wanting to master us again (Genesis 4:6-7; Romans 7:14-25). Even though we put our sinful desires to death when we submitted to God in baptism, we’ll still sin (1 John 1:5-10; Romans 6:3-18; 8:12-14).
Have you allowed God to begin his work of removing the debris of sin from your life so you can take the narrow road that leads to eternal life (Philippians 2:12-13)?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org