I’ve Never Been On A Road I Haven’t Taken

I’ve never been on a road I haven’t taken.

Neither have you.

I’ve never traveled someone else’s road.

Neither have you.

We travel our own path, and no one travels it for us. Neither could we travel someone else’s path no matter how sincerely we try.

The path may seem crowded at times. It may seem as lonely.

Yet our roads are not solitary, not completely.

Our roads intersect with others, bringing us fellow travelers who join us for a time, long or short or merely for the briefest moment.

There is richness in walking together, and there is wealth to be found in traveling alone. There can also be loss and sorrow and sadness on the way, at times unbearable.

Yet we travel on our roads, each of us.

But in the end there are really only two roads anyone ever travels.

One is under the reign of grace, and one is under the reign of sin. Thankfully, our God doesn’t make us go all the way back for a do-over, but opens the path for us right where we are. And because of the reign of grace, we can be free to serve to his glory, knowing that he is blessing our efforts and using everything for his purposes. No need for rewind. (Aimee Byrd.)

There is a way to travel never alone again, no matter how solitary the road appears. It is the road traveled by people who put their trust in Jesus.

When the road is hard, he keeps us:

When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94:18-19.)

When the road is uncertain, he directs us:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6.)

And in every step, he is with us:

Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18, 20.)

And he is in us:

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17.)

And he is the one who will see us safely to the road’s end, to dwell with him forever:

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3.)

Every road has its end. But not all ends are the end of all things. My road is in Jesus now just as much as it leads to Jesus in eternity.

This is a road worth traveling, and I am glad I am not traveling another.

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21 Responses to I’ve Never Been On A Road I Haven’t Taken

  1. This is such a helpful perspective for me as I travel the road of grief where grief is different for everyone and every time we grieve. Here are two corresponding quotes from my grief support group:
    1. “Grief is a process that is better thought of as a journey. It’s just one foot in front of the other.” ~ Tim Clinton
    2. “There are only two things I can do in respect to God in a time of grief: I can move toward Him or I can move away from Him.” ~ Paul Tripp

    • Tim says:

      Those insights from Clinton and Tripp are good to keep in mind when we deal with things that seem overwhelming, Carol. All of us deal with these things as the individuals God has made us to be.

    • Aimee Byrd says:

      Carol, your grief made me think more about there being a longing for rewind to spend some more time with those we have lost. But then again, with one foot in front of the other, you will reach eternity with Christ alongside of the husband you lost. How wonderful that will be! Keep moving forward!

  2. Reblogged this on multicolouredsmartypants and commented:
    As I first read this, the old bitternesses crept back up like bile in my throat. “I never chose all the pain and years of abuse. I never chose the neurological disorder, or the PTSD.” But then I paused. The bitterness faded. I remembered grace; I remembered Christ. I remembered the precious gifts that can only be obtained through suffering – compassion, courage, an understanding of God transforming my weakness into His strength, His joy. God always tips everything upside down, so that everything that was broken is made whole, everything that was downtrodden is lifted high, everything that was brutal and ugly is made beautiful. And for all this we celebrate!

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Sandy, and thanks for re-blogging it too. As you said, God tips everything upside down. We’re made new in him as he redeems us and our circumstances in and for his glory.

  3. Comforting and true words that each of us needs on his journey – and I too am so glad that I’m never alone on the road. I love the “road of grace / road of sin” quote, and especially: “No need to rewind” 🙂 Thank you for this post, Tim!

  4. Laura Droege says:

    Several thoughts:
    1) We’ve never been on someone else’s path, which means that we need to be careful when we search for the motives behind their actions (particularly if we jump to conclusions without knowing the full situation or anything else about the other person).
    2) It’s comforting to know that Jesus is with us always, and so we are never truly alone (even when our feelings tell us otherwise). I’m going to try to share some of your insights with my 7-year-old, who is feeling alone at school, the odd girl out in a class with 5 girls and 9 boys.
    3) It’s awesome how God brings people into our lives to travel with us, and how creative he is in bringing people together. For all that I complain about the internet, it has given me the opportunity to interact with people I wouldn’t know otherwise, and my life is richer for it.

    • Tim says:

      Laura, those three points make a great coda to the post. I’m praying your conversation with your daughter will encourage her in her classroom.

  5. Jeannie says:

    Wonderful post today, Tim — I feel so encouraged by the Scriptures you shared, by Aimee’s reflection, and by the comments so far. What Aimee says about God not requiring a do-over, but just opening the way right where we are, fits with Michelle Van Loon’s book If Only: Letting Go of Regret, which I’m reading right now.

    I was struck by this sentence, too: “Our roads intersect with others, bringing us fellow travelers who join us for a time, long or short or merely for the briefest moment.” One thing that is very difficult is when we think another person will be with us on the journey until the end, but they see our relationship differently; they see us as a “for a time” friend, not a “forever” friend. I’ve had that experience in the past year and it is really hard to come to terms with. I suppose letting go is part of allowing others to walk their path even if it’s painful for us. That’s when the presence of Jesus is so comforting.

  6. Adriana says:

    “When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
    When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.”

    This passage is speaking directly to where I am on life’s road now, Tim. My feet have failed me! My arches have literally fallen. At this moment I’m propped up on my aunt & uncle’s couch — five days out from surgery. There has been pain and anxiety — esp since I can’t care for my kids right now. But I’ve been ministered to so sweetly. Yesterday a relative came to visit and when she saw how ill I was she did all she could to make me comfortable. She held my puke bucket! She prayed over me and stroked my hair as I fell asleep. The Lord’s unfailing love and consolation has supported me and brought me joy.

    P.S. I think this post is one of my new favorites. It’s up there with “All the Days of my Life in a Single Moment.”

    • Tim says:

      It sounds like God is sustaining you through your family, Adriana. I’m sorry for the pain and puke buckets, but glad for family and friends coming alongside you.

  7. Amy says:

    Thanks for these wonderful thoughts, Tim. I often read your comments on her.meneutics and always find them thoughtful, gracious and edifying.

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