Today the iPod shuffle landed on a melancholy song by The Beatles. To be honest, the song fit a gloomy Monday morning. The iPod landed on The Long and Winding Road. The lyrics express a feeling of futility.
The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear…
Paul McCartney talked about the song in a 1994 interview. "It's rather a sad song. I like writing sad songs, it's a good bag to get into because you can actually acknowledge some deeper feelings of your own and put them in it. It's a good vehicle, it saves having to go to a psychiatrist … It's a sad song because it's all about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach. This is the road that you never get to the end of."
I talk to and hear from so many people who can relate to McCartney's pessimistic words. They feel like they are on a road to the unattainable. They strive to enter a door they never quite reach. The song continues:
The wild and windy night
That a rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day.
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way.
The journey is not easy. Never will be. One of the big mistakes we make in sharing our faith is making it seem like all troubles are over when you embrace Christianity. That is not in the contract. We will still have problems and heartaches and even tragedies. But God will meet you on the long and winding road. He will give you grace to endure. King David wrote these words while escaping down such a road…
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
John the Baptist talked about a crooked road as he prepared the way for Jesus to begin His ministry. He devoted his life to letting people know that God would let us know the way. Luke recorded John the Baptist's words in his Gospel account.
He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
And all mankind will see God's salvation.' " (Luke 3, NIV)
That salvation is in Jesus. Life is a long and winding road. Jesus gives the journey meaning and eternal significance. My prayer is to echo and believe the words of Paul that he wrote to the early church.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. (Acts 20, NIV)
That is the reason to stay steadfast on the long and winding road. I want to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me. I am grateful that God has not, to quote McCartney's lyrics above, left me standing here. He has let me know the way. The road may be long and winding but it is never without hope. Don't be afraid to continue down the long and winding road. God will meet you there.