Prosper on the Broken Road
The story of my broken road began in 2004 when my husband was diagnosed with a grapefruit-sized brain tumor. This was a huge shock to our family, but it was where God placed us. We had no choice but to walk along that broken road.
While waiting for the doctor’s final plan, Proverbs 3:5-6 came to mind.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”
Faced with so many unknowns, that scripture began the process of trusting God like I never had before.
Walking through this challenging time took us over many hills and through a lot of valleys. Over a 10-year period, there were three brain surgeries, an emergency open-heart surgery, years of chemo and radiation, plus physical, mental, and emotional struggles. Ultimately, he went to be with the Lord earlier than we wanted, leading to another season of brokenness as I was left a widow for four years.
For I Know the Plans I Have for You
Through those years, I clung to scripture and learned to trust Him with whatever bump in the road came my way. Although those days were very difficult, there was a peace and a strength that came when I leaned into Christ’s words.
Jeremiah 29:11 reminded me, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Prosper means to become strong and flourish. And, flourishing is defined as growing vigorously despite or because of circumstances. So, if you are walking along a broken road, how do you prosper? How do you become strong? How do you flourish and grow vigorously?
Over the Hills and Through the Valleys
There was a moment when I felt God tell me, “This is going to be hard and you need to hunker down.” My mind got the picture of someone going to a safe place of refuge, taking shelter, finding a place of protection, and standing strong as they prepared for a storm. Psalm 57:1 even told me how to hunker down,
“I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”
After hunkering down, the next step is to SEEK the Lord. Seeking the Lord may take many different paths. It could be reading the Bible or a simple daily devotional. Maybe it’s listening to sermons or worship songs. Fill your moments with thoughts of Him, seeking Him, as best you can.
The broken road can be very scary. Even though God commands us in Joshua 1:9 to be strong and courageous and not to fear, negative thoughts do creep in. But to prosper and grow you need to take those thoughts captive. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish everything that is against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” When you have those thoughts of fear or just want to give up, look for Scripture that can help fight those negative thoughts and replace them with thoughts of something good. He will guide you if you seek Him.
PRAYER is another way to prosper and grow on the broken road.
Prayer is simply talking to God. You don’t have to have the perfect words. He already knows our every thought, but He wants us to tell him everything in our hearts and mind and then listen for His direction. But there will be days when you don’t know what to pray for. Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Cry out to God for help and the Spirit will intercede for you.
Growing stronger requires us to PRAISE Him in the brokenness.
David wrote many of the Psalms as a way to praise God and thank Him. When fleeing from danger, he wrote Psalm 59:16 – “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” He sang songs to praise God despite the troubles…he chose joy. I often had to force myself to find one thing to be thankful for which momentarily took my focus off of the hard stuff.
Ultimately, all of these things require TRUST in the Lord to carry you through. You may find yourself stuck in the darkness not wanting to open your eyes because you have no confidence in where things are going. But running around in the darkness is not easy. You may stumble and fall. You may take the wrong path because you haven’t opened your eyes to see the Light of Jesus and trust Him for guidance.
Isaiah 42:16 tells us, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.” In these moments of brokenness, you may be “blind” to what the future holds. But in this darkness, there is only one place to turn…turn to Jesus – hunker down in the shadow of His wings, seek Him, pray to Him, praise Him and trust Him. By following these guidelines, He can turn the darkness into light, He will guide you along unfamiliar paths, and He will make the rough places smooth.
This road you are on is temporary. Try not to focus on the brokenness in front of you – but on Christ – our eternal glory. By keeping your eyes and heart focused on Jesus and placing your trust in Him, you come out on the other side having grown closer to God…stronger…and you will have prospered on the broken road.