When the dirt road out to our home becomes rough or washed out, a crew comes out to regrade. Equipment carves out the side and scrapes over new rock, clay, dirt and whatever else is in the ditches out into the road. Holes are evened out, low water trenches are reformed for better drainage, and washboard areas are smoothed.
Usually, a road regrade happens when I am in a hurry, such as a morning I am taking my son to school and we’ve pushed it to the last possible moment to make sure he’s in class on time. I buzz up my lane, ready to peal out on the road and speed into town, and instead have to put on the brakes and go 25 or less.
Though a regraded road helps the travel conditions in the long run and ensures the road stays in better shape, it also means a slower drive, a somewhat bumpier trip because of the new rock out on the road, and a high potential for a flat tire. The inconvenience (and frustration levels) increases when trying to drive while the road is being regraded, navigating around the large rocks and dirt piles in the middle of the path.
For the past several weeks, it has felt like God has been regrading my heart. And, I haven’t enjoyed it. It has been painful, messy, frustrating and completely inconvenient.
But, there God is, out with the heavy machinery, digging deep and scraping my heart to create a better, longer-lasting path than the one I was treading.
I wasn’t anticipating the regrade. In fact, so many wonderful spiritual breakthroughs were happening around me, spurring my heart to plow ahead in faith. The path was clear and milestones were being added. Now they are broken and scattered across the road, and my passion feels punctured and flat.
As God reshapes the road, I’m unable to see where the path leads. I feel more sensitive to bumps. I’ve had to slow down and navigate piles that weren’t there before. Part of me wants to let loose my impatience and frustration, especially with what I want cleared off the road instead of lodged right in the middle.
Maybe that’s the point. I’m not in control. I don’t dictate the path. God is, and God does. I must trust the expertise of the Road Crew. God knows me. And it is His road, not mine. He holds the future, and sees where the road must be reinforced, where flooding can be staved by deeper trenches, and how fresh dirt will improve conditions for further travel and growth, for me and for all who may follow.
Lord, scrape away me. Build your road, and let me be with you wherever that road leads.
Regrade my heart.