“Oh Lord! Please don’t let this truck back into me!” A few years ago, these were the words that I kept repeating as I watched helplessly as the white Ford truck in front of me struggled to gain traction on the icy/snowy street. The truck’s back wheels spun furiously and its cab shifted to the right as it tried to make it up the slight incline in the road. Although I didn’t know who was driving the truck, I prayed that it would make it up the hill.
Even though it had taken me about 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive a distance that normally took me 25 minutes, I was thankful that I was finally just a few minutes away from my house. After a few minutes of spinning its wheels, the truck was finally able to make it to the top and through the stop light. After witnessing his struggle, I thought that I would have the same trouble, but miraculously made it up the hill and through the traffic light with no trouble.
I thought about this experience when, like many North Texans on this past Valentine’s Day, I was both pleased with and fearful of the ice/snow that blanketed the area. I was pleased because it was beautiful to look at. Yet, I was also horrified thinking about those who might be forced to drive in it. I remembered back to the 2015 snow storm when I was forced to drive on the snowy streets on my way home from work. The streets were very slick with snow and ice; there was no traction even for the largest vehicles like trucks and SUVs. One thing that did help with the icy road conditions was the continuous treatment of the roads with sand/salt/brine that was designed to improve traction.
The road treatment didn’t make the roads completely clear; only a gradual melting of the ice/snow as a result of warmer temperatures would do that. However, the use of the salt/brine/sand mixture did improve the road conditions. I think one of the reasons why so many people did not get into accidents during the wintry weather was that they followed the paths created in the slick streets by the sanding trucks. Similar things happen to us as part of our process of Christian maturity.
Even though we remain committed to living a Christian life, sometimes we lose traction. We may suffer a series of disappointments, go through a season of discouragement or fall into sin. We are still saved by the grace of God but, just like that truck that was slipping on the ice, we have temporarily slipped in our walks as Christians.
Psalms 85:13 says, “Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.” Walking down the path of righteousness doesn’t mean that our lives will be trouble free. However, walking down the path of righteousness means that if we slip, we’ll be able to regain traction and get back on track. The Bible also says that Jehovah Nissi will go before us and prepare the way. As Christians, we have to trust in God and have faith in His righteousness leading the way regardless of how the path looks.
Shewanda Riley, PhD. is a Dallas, Texas based author of “Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @shewanda.