by Rev. Dr. Edward Goode, via his site Imago Scriptura
In the few weeks that I have been in Colorado, I have driven past this sign many many times. When driving by, it definitely looks like the sidewalk ends just as the sign says it does. And if you keep going in the same direction, the sidewalk definitely drops off.
But today, I finally decided to take a walk over there to get a picture and I was surprised by what I found.
As you can see in the photo, the sidewalk doesn’t actually end. Yes, the one direction ends but if you just make a right turn, it continues down and around. But the way it looks when driving by at 45+ mph, the turn to the side isn’t obvious at all.
One of the consistent stories of Scripture is that God shows us new paths when it may feel like the sidewalk is ending. There’s a song often sung in churches that simply says, “God will make a way where there seems to be no way…” In Scripture we see this time and again – a ram in the thicket with Abraham and Isaac, a pathway through the sea when an army is approaching from behind, manna in the wilderness when the people were hungry, thousands being fed by a few loaves and fish, wine appearing in stone jars where only water had been before, and the list can go on. I love the words in Isaiah 43:16-21:
Thus says the LORD,Isaiah 43:16-21
who makes a way in the sea
a path in the mighty waters,
who brings out chariot and horse,
army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
The wild animals will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself
so that they might declare my praise.
And yes, there are times that we reach the end of the sidewalk and it may not feel like there is a path to turn to. I’ve been there and I’ve been there with many others who have found that circumstance. But even still, there is holding in faith to what we have seen from God in the past and the promises that continue to be there that even when we come to the place that the sidewalk ends…a new way will emerge. That is my prayer for everyone who feels like they are at the end of a sidewalk and don’t know what is next.