Take It Easy Friends
We’re at the end of the first month of this new year. How did it go? Were you able to keep your plans?
The year started off with quite the shock for me just one week in. While on my way to work I lost control of my car, started to drift over into the other lane, over-corrected in a panic, and landed in a deep ditch on the side of the road. A patch of black ice was the likely culprit.
The time between leaving the road and landing in the ditch felt like an eternity. I landed in what felt like a bed of feathers. I looked up to see snow all over the windshield. Crazy Canadian winter I thought. Then realizing I still had the car running and was going nowhere, I turned the engine off.
I looked at the dashboard to check the fuel gauge. It was low after a full weekend and I hoped I could keep the heat on while I figured a way out. And in a split second, the gauge moved up one notch! The law of gravity had contributed to this necessary miracle. Soon after the battery died, and the radio with it. I sat in complete silence.
I was in between cities so finding a tow wasn’t as simple as I thought. But I connected with a company, and gave them my estimated location in the countryside as best I could.
Drivers slowly passed by looking over the ledge to assess the situation. Others got out of their cars to check on me. I rolled down the window and gave them a quick thumbs-up to let them know I was ok, and to avoid inconveniencing them.
But one guy Dave said he’d wait with me. This papa-figure beckoned me to get out of the ditch and wait for the tow in his truck. I complied.
Dave’s words were comforting, helping me to take the blame off myself. We’d had a terrible snowstorm that morning and the roads weren’t fully cleared. Particularly the one I was traveling on.
Enter Dan, the tow truck rescuer. He was a strong, matter-of-fact kind of guy with a soft smile and kind eyes under his toque.
My entry into the ditch seemed atypical. I was fully upright, but parallel to the road I was on. Dan worked a bit to hitch my car, secure the steering wheel, and wince my car right out. I looked on in amazement when it seemed as if the tow truck might have been pulled into the ditch instead.
But eventually, Dan got it out. He pulled my car and set it in place to gain good traction and gave my battery a boost. In the end there was absolutely no damage, not even a dent.
After giving me an alternate route home, Dan said his final words to me – “Take it easy”.
Take it easy? Did he just say take it easy? I nodded sheepishly.
Then it hit me. Besides walking away from a stunt on par with a blockbuster film, Jesus taught me a lot about himself that morning.
Both Dan and Dave were used to sorting through people’s messes. Dan pulled people out of ditches for a living. Dave had shared with me earlier about his work in environmental remediation. They both point to our need for the Repairer and Restorer in our lives.
We can be going on our merry way when suddenly we lose control, finding ourselves drifting over into the other lane, over-correcting through our own efforts, and ultimately landing into the ditch. The ditch represents that place of fear, paralysis, lost vision, and powerlessness.
We can land ourselves in ditches along the course of this life. We can drift and then over-correct due to an addiction, insurmountable debt, a health challenge, or a great divide between ourselves and those we love. Our wisdom and efforts only seem to make it all worse.
Human reasoning gives a basic explanation by saying I did have a bad feeling coming off that turn. Religion offers comfort by saying it was God’s will, but eventually passes on by.
Only Jesus waits.
Jesus waits with us beside the ditch. Under the sycamore tree. By the well. Outside the tomb.
Jesus waits because He knows that what’s coming next is for our good.
He waits and comforts us with His words, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him” (John 9:3).
And as we yield, we make room for His Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. He is the Spirit of Adoption by which we cry Abba, Father, help us! He reaches down into the depths of our despair, pulls us right out, and positions us to follow on in the Way of the Kingdom. That Way being Christ himself.
In Psalm 40, verses 1 and 2, David gives this testimony – “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”
Are you in a ditch right now? Do you find yourself wondering how you got there? Are you tired of strategizing how to get yourself out?
The Repairer of the breach and the Restorer of our souls is asking us to take it easy. “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-29).
Take it easy friends. Take it easy.
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