A journey is often the metaphor assigned to life – some considerable distance to be traveled. It implies a starting point and a destination. That’s the easy part. You breeze along life’s open road knowing that the destination is over the horizon. Parents and other well-meaning adults assure you that the destination can be any place you want to go. Along the way you delight in the panoramic design of life’s diversity. You listen to the music of life’s medleys. The aromas of life arouse your appetite to achieve. You are cautioned that about the bumps along the way, and you ready yourself to maneuver through them. Sometimes, however, the bumps come without warning and knock you completely off course. Suddenly your journey is now one of road hazards and unexpected detours that send your compass spinning. The death of a child is such a divergence. You suddenly find yourself on a road with no map. A road that stretches in front of you that looks nothing like the anticipated journey and time is now divided it into the before and the after. Life’s reliable road map is drastically changed and the struggle to navigate this altered course cannot be accomplished alone.
The view in front of you is obscured. You now see through a myopic lens that is clouded by tears and leaves you fearful of the journey ahead. The smoothly paved predictable road that once guided you toward an unlimited expanse of future has now morphed into a rocky road that snakes endlessly over rough terrain. The weariness of the road ahead leaves you longing for the beauty and certainty seen in the rearview mirror. The horizon now seems out of reach.
There is help. There is a loving Father who understands the journey. He too left the comforts of a truly perfect life and walked a road that led to a cruel death so that He might walk beside us and help us navigate our road of sorrow. He paved the road that lies behind and He alone knows the way to the elusive horizon where a new day dawns in a heaven that knows no fear, nor pain. For He marked out the horizons on the face of the deep – Prov 8:27, and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes – Rev. 7:17.
For now, put hope in front of you. Determine to walk in faith regardless of how small your steps may seem. Rely on the faithfulness of the road behind you and the promise of the horizon in front of you, to maneuver through the uncertainty of the road beneath your feet today. For “Now we see but a poor reflection as a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I now in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I Cor. 13:12