I experience dead-ends in my life, now and then. When I am out of answers, or where I don’t have any workable options, or I’m just running up against a wall that I can’t get around.
By his grace, God is calling me to believe that these aren’t dead-ends but U-turns.
He meets me there, at the dead-end, and once I’ve exhausted all my options he says, “Good, finally I can do my better work now that you’re not in charge.”
Forgiven, and in faith, I do a U-turn.
But some of my U-turns become a Y turn, then a W turn with a Z thrown in there! Go forward. Back up. Forward. Back. People are waiting and honking impatiently and I get frustrated.
But God is patient. He’s not frustrated. I’m his project and my humble, repentant discipleship is supposed to be learning.
God’s work on us is such an adventure!
There is this crazy looking vision that God gives to the prophet Ezekiel in the Bible (Ezekiel chapter 37). Ezekiel sees a valley full of dry, brittle bones. Lifeless. Hopeless. And God asks him, “Can these bones live” (v. 3)?
Ezekiel didn’t have a clue, and perhaps snickered a bit. “Yeah, right.” Then, God says, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live” (v. 9). And the bones come together, then they form skeletons, then corpses and finally they become living beings.
It’s like a U-turn that becomes a W-turn. A little progress here. A little more. Wait. Okay, a little more. It is a process full of God’s patient, forgiving and strengthening grace.
Where in life are you at a dead-end right now? God meets you there and says, “Surprise! It’s really a U-turn. Now, follow me.”
PRAYER: Living and loving Holy Spirit, guide me with your grace when I’m at a dead-end. Be patient with me. Strengthen me. Turn me toward better paths ahead. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Take some time to pray about the work of God the Holy Spirit.
- Praise (tell God the Holy Spirit what you appreciate about his life-changing work at your dead-ends)
- Repent (this is the pivot—the turn—acknowledge a sin you are committing or a lie you are believing, turn away from it, leave it behind, and notice God who eagerly forgives)
- Ask (focus your request on spiritual blessings)
- Yield (talk to God about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)