I drove the family to Grandma’s last night for Thanksgiving. Three hours into the six-hour trip, I realized that I was in a theology lab.
A day with a car full of kids will teach you a lot about God. Transporting a family from one city to another is closely akin to God transporting us from our home to his. A journey is a journey, whether the destination be the Thanksgiving table or the heavenly one. Both demand patience, a good sense of direction, and a driver who knows that the feast at the end of the trip is worth the hassles in the midst of the trip.
For me, six hours on the road is a small price to pay for my mom’s strawberry cake. I don’t mind the drive because I know the reward. I have three decades of Thanksgivings under my belt, literally. As I drive, I can taste the turkey. Hear the dinner-table laughter. Smell the smoke from the fireplace. I can endure the journey because I know the destiny.
For some of you, the journey has been long. Very long and stormy. In no way do I wish to minimize the difficulties that you have had to face along the way. Some of you have shouldered burdens that few of us could ever carry. You have bid farewell to life-long partners. You have been robbed of life-long dreams. You have been given bodies that can’t sustain your spirit. You have spouses who can’t tolerate your faith. You have bills that outnumber the paychecks and challenges that outweigh the strength. And you are tired.
Let me encourage you with a parallel between your life’s journey and the one our family took last night. It’s worth it. As I write, the Thanksgiving meal is over. My legs are propped up on the hearth. My tablet is on my lap. I have every intention of dozing off as soon as I finish this chapter. The turkey has been attacked. The giblet gravy has been gobbled. The table is clear. The kids are napping. And the family is content.
As we sat around the table today, no one spoke of the long trip to get here. No one mentioned the requests I didn’t honor. No one grumbled about my foot being on the accelerator when their hearts were focused on the banana splits. No one complained about the late hour of arrival.
Yesterday’s challenges were lost in today’s joy. God never said that the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.
Remember this: God may not do what you want, but he will do what is right … and best. He’s the Father of forward motion. Trust him. He will get you home. And the trials of the trip will be lost in the joys of the feast.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll close my eyes. I’m a bit tired from the journey, and it feels good to rest.
From In the Eye of the Storm Copyright (W Publishing Group, 1999) Max Lucado