The strange turns of life

Ecclesiastes 7:13

Consider the work of God. Can anyone make straight what He has made crooked?


The switchbacks can feel endless as you trudge up the trails in Yosemite. The path twists you into a vision of the falls, cascading light tumbling through rainbows, and then you’re just looking at your feet again. “I’m getting old,” I keep saying to my shoes and legs, answering the complaints of muscle and knees. But it’s just so crooked. The path is as crooked as a mobster’s heart. It can’t be straightened out. But you realize it’s a good thing that you’ve got these switchbacks as you hike along. You couldn’t just barrel up Yosemite falls the way the crow flies. The walls are too treacherous and the heights are a quick death. So you plod. And there’s a reward for all that plodding. Some of the greatest natural beauty of our Father’s creation is there for gawking praise. My life is like this hike. I’m bewildered at times by a path that jumps in strange directions. It’s not one I always know or recognize. I keep wondering all along the way, “How much further is it? How long will this take?” If I wander from the path I’m liable to stumble into destruction. So I keep going. Occasionally a vista opens up. I see the sovereign God wildly answering prayer. The plans and purposes of eternity seem to open in dizzying panoramic wisdom. My soul relearns “all is well, and all matter of things shall be well.” And then I’m looking at my feet again. The calendar meetings are scheduled, Sunday mornings begin early, pay the bills on Mondays, etc. Life grinds again into a crooked winding road of disappointments, disillusionments, and despair. I picture Solomon pondering, a look of tired worldliness and boredom in his eyes, a tinge of regret and longing as he sighs out his question. I sometimes wonder if God let him see the coming Savior. Because that’s the real answer. Which is itself amazing – that rhetorical questions even have answers! But there it is at the cross. Nothing in creation’s history was as dark and crooked as Calvary. There aren’t any switchbacks more dirty than the torture, betrayal, and execution of the Son. But He walked them, and in His murder makes them straight. He is the One who can make straight everything that’s so bent. Christ is Solomon’s answer, telling us to listen because “One greater than Solomon is here.” So I want to praise Him all of my days, and when my days are done I want to praise Him some more. Pray with me that God will pour out His grace, Spirit, and power to somehow “straighten” (ha!!) what seems so hopelessly deformed in me, my city, and this whole generation.