In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6
We have this verse displayed on one of our living room walls, and it caught my attention this afternoon as I walked by it.
Acknowledge Him, He ….makes….paths…..straight.
Each word became significant to me in a split second moment. It summed up a message I was trying to convey to a friend a few hours earlier, but I couldn’t say it the way I wanted to. And here were the Lords words, very concise on my living room wall.
I had been talking with someone who shared feeling “stuck.” Boy, do I know what being stuck looks like, feels like. And believe me, it’s not from being in a snowstorm.
Although being stuck usually follows a storm of some sort, usually a sin storm.
I was listening to her honesty, being at a place in her life where she feels stuck. I shared about a similar place and time when I was stuck – after walking away from sin, trying to move forward, but being stuck. It’s not a fun place, being stuck, because it’s where the hard work has to be done. You decide you’re not going back to the sinful place, but you are ambivalent about moving forward. You have to decide if you are going to push or pull yourself out of the rut.
Or, you can allow the Lord to pull you out…..and straighten the path.
Often being stuck means we really are not sure if we want to move forward. We may not want to go back to the sin, but we really don’t want to move forward. It’s hard work if we go it alone.
Or we can acknowledge God. The verse says “In all your ways” acknowledge Him – not just the cleaned up ways, but the messed up ways, too. It’s the only thing that gets us out of the ambivalence of being stuck. Acknowledging God means being honest, saying,
“Lord, this is where I am. I don’t even know if I want to move forward. I can’t do it alone. I don’t have the will or the strength. But what I do know is, I love you, and I want what you want.”
It’s then that the tow rope gets hitched tight. And whether we want it or not, the Lord does the work and He pulls us out of the rut with His grace and mercy. It’s not what we do, it’s what He does in us. That’s the power of the words….
He Makes The Path Straight.
Notice it doesn’t say “we will make the path straight” or “He will guide us”….it says He makes the path for us. The work we do is in our will – our will to walk on His path.
At least, that’s how the verse spoke to me today. At a point in my life when I could have walked head first into sin, the Lord loved me enough to draw the line and say “You have to choose.”
In honesty, I didn’t really want to walk away, but I knew if I walked any further down the wrong path, I would be walking away from my Lord. And I loved Him enough to say, “I choose You.”
It’s then that the tow rope came, when I was honest with God, and acknowledged His love for me despite my sinful heart, acknowledged His grace, realizing I did not deserve it, that He gave me a yank, jumped started my engine, and set me due east in the direction of Mercy. A straight path all the way.
I still have to choose to stay on the path. But I’ve learned the detours or shortcuts usually are not as glamorous as they seem. Sin never is.
Praise to the Living God. I’ll choose Him again, every time.