He Makes Our Paths Straight
The Body of Christ is made of many parts. Some are small, some large. Some we show to the world, some we cover up. But they each have importance. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that the Body of Christ is not just one part but several, and no part can say to another, “I don’t need you.”
So what does this all mean? It means God has to be concerned about His whole Body when he makes plans, paths, and outcomes. It’s not all about me. I had to learn that.
I had to accept His discipline, that is, what He had to teach me. I had to learn I am one part among the billions He loves. I had to accept I was part of something much, much bigger than my experiences.
While dealing with my headaches, my job loss, the quarantine, and COVID, I was entirely concerned about only me. I wanted my own path made straight. I wanted to know how to take the Leap of Faith and how it would affect me: my comfort, my survival, my legacy. But as the struggles of 2020 kept adding up, and nothing seemed to go my way, I began losing faith that God could make my paths straight. I stepped back from the edge of the platform despite that voice saying, “Just do it. Accept.”
My acceptance actually began with this: God So loved the World—not just me. He must take every data point and consequence, every possible combination and permutation, every future and every present, and—most importantly—every member of the Body of Christ into consideration when making his plans. To make just my own path straight already takes a Divine amount of knowledge (what things are), understanding (how things work), and wisdom (applying understanding to a situation). And it takes Divine power. So imagine then how much of all these things He has in order to make good of this promise: to work out for good all things for those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
Since we all love Him and obey Him, He’ll show His love for us by working out those good things, straightening those paths. He’ll bring us to the best outcome if we’ll accept His authority over all time, space, and creation. He sees all the pathways we do not and cannot. He is concerned not just for me, but for you, and everyone of His created beings.
Kinda makes me feel silly for doubting he could save me from a little jump in a lake, much less a bout of COVID-19. Acceptance is not about giving up.
This finally brings me to a very misunderstood word: meekness. In Matthew 5:5 Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.” Some modern translations replace meek with humble, but this betrays something greater in Jesus’ words than simple humility.
Meekness is acceptance of a matter greater than oneself while humbly acknowledging one lacks the power to change it. Yet it, like acceptance, is not about giving up. There is another part to the definition. Though you have no power to change the matter, you endure through it, accepting that God does have the power.
Therefore the meek person has his own power tamed in deference to God. Meekness is not weakness: it is strength under reins. And it takes strength, as you yourself have seen throughout 2020, to endure suffering and to accept that God has our best outcome in mind. For all of us.
That’s really how we’ll inherit the Earth then: by meekness, by acceptance, by not giving up, by trusting God. If we have these things, the Earth is ours. What then is a wee virus?