Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Keep On Truckin'

Yesterday started out a little rocky for one of my drivers.  He was running late, left something at home that he desperately needed, and he was hitting the road for three days with another driver who, let's just say, tends to be a little difficult to warm up to.  To add insult to injury, "Ken's" lateness and the difficulties he was experiencing just seemed to poke at that big old bear sitting in the seat next to him.  Now, make no mistake, our drivers are equipped with roomy, relatively comfortable "sleeper tractors" -- but this is no "Trick My Truck" operation here.  (Think 9 PM argument with your spouse and no sofa to sleep on, or eight hours of summer rain with six kids stuck indoors and no bathroom for retreat!)  Three days of clashing personalities on barren highway, fighting through weather and construction traffic, trying to sleep in a bunk while someone you don't even like -- much less trust -- drives you to some "passable" truck stop for a shower and artery-clogging chow, checking in at a building where a sleepy guard wants nothing more than your paperwork so he can go home and enjoy his weekend like the rest of civilization, then turning around and doing it all over again -- can leave you feeling a bit... lonely.  Talk about your wilderness experience!  As they left the yard, I told Ken I'd pray for him.

We've all been in the wilderness; we've all had times when we felt completely alone.  But what do we do with those opportunities when we have them?  Yes, that's right, I said "opportunities."  Being alone sometimes is easy for most of us, but feeling alone is an opportunity.  It's a chance to turn to the One who never leaves us or forsakes us.  When those we love are far away or have turned their backs on us, God is with us.  When we have no one else on whom to rely, we can rely on Jesus.  Feeling alone can break us down in frustration and fear, turn our hearts to Him, leave us willing "to do anything" to change our circumstances.  Once we see the power of God to rescue, restore, even give us more than we'd ever imagined, we will never be the same.  The wilderness will never look as lonely and barren as it did when we first entered.

"I know you'll be back soon, but Ken, don't waste your days in the wilderness."  And I'll be praying that none of us does! 

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