by Anna Kuta
“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5b
I was driving home late the other night, rolling down the winding, two-lane country road I’ve been down so many thousands of times I could probably drive it in my sleep. I had the radio turned up and one hand on the wheel, and then — CLUNK! Before I knew what was happening, my front right tire thudded through a gigantic pothole that came out of nowhere. The whole car jolted and I just knew a noise like that had to have done some damage.
“Oh, please don’t let me have a flat tire,” I said out loud. Cringing, I pulled over at the next road and worked up the courage to get out and look … and to my surprise, my tire was still intact. I stared at it for a few minutes, waiting until I was sufficiently assured that it wasn’t going to deflate in front of my eyes, and then I breathed a sigh of relief and continued my drive, albeit a good bit slower and more cautious this time.
Isn’t life just like that? You’re going along smoothly, and all of a sudden something turns your world upside down. A loved one gets a cancer diagnosis. You lose your job. Your best friend moves halfway across the country. Someone dies too young. You’re making your way down the road just fine and then you crash into a pothole that almost derails you. We all know the feeling all too well.
I was having one of those weeks where every single thing seemed to be going wrong, and then I heard a sermon illustration that stuck with me. It was the story of a gravel lane leading to a farm and a huge pothole that appeared after a rainstorm. Before anyone had a chance to fill it in, though, a bird laid her eggs in the pothole. She hatched her chicks there and stayed with them until they left the nest. All the locals warned their families and friends to avoid the pothole, and everyone drove slowly by to see for themselves the little birds thriving in a place that no one would expect.
How often do we look at the potholes in our lives and curse them? Yet, from a rocky, ugly place, little birds sang and took flight.
God did not promise that our Christian walk would be easy, but he did promise he would never leave us. His presence, His love and His peace are the only things that can fill in the holes in our lives. He smoothes out the roughest of roads with His strength and comfort. And above all, He grants us grace sufficient to make it through whatever may come. The Lord will never leave our side.
If not for the pothole on that gravel farm lane, the travelers would never have been able to witness a small miracle taking place there. If not for the pothole on my drive home the other night, I probably wouldn’t have slowed down and I might have had an even worse encounter around the next bend – with a herd of deer in the middle of the road.
In the midst of a week where I thought my world might crash down, I cried out to God to help me through, and it was only when I had nothing left to rely on but Him that I felt His presence more clearly than I had in a long time – and it was exactly what my heart had been yearning for. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you,” as James 4:8 says. Only God can fill our potholes, and he fills them with Himself. May we never miss the little blessings hidden along a bumpy road.
Intersecting Faith and Life
When you hit a pothole, pray for God to give you strength and remind you of His presence. Seek a closer relationship with Him and remember that He is your refuge and strength.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."