By Michael E. Brooks
“Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:12-13 NKJV).
This week some of us met with property owners in a village near Khulna to discuss the building of a road that would give access to several houses and the church building there.
This is the second meeting I have attended within the past month on the same subject, but in two different areas. In both places the church has access, but there is no good road and members must walk in mud and water during the rainy season.
The need for raised and improved roads is great, and the benefits to the church and also to local homeowners will be substantial.
There are many kinds of “roads” which lead to goals and destinations important to us. Some are literal paths, for vehicles, animals or walkers. The wider, smoother, drier, less obstructed and straighter a road or path is, the easier it is to travel upon it.
Sometimes a path may be prepared with minimal cost and effort. In other places it may require the building of bridges, blasting through rock, or other expensive and difficult labor. Feeble or lame walkers appreciate a straight, level, and wide path, which does no further injury to their limbs, but assists in recovery.
Other paths may lead to better relationships. Problems arise when we are emotionally separated from our friends, neighbors or family members. Reconciliation requires that someone travel. Someone must approach the other, and make the effort to renew the relationship.
This often requires discussion, understanding, repentance and forgiveness. Those roads of communication may not be easy to find, or to walk upon, but they may lead to a reunion that is even more rewarding than the initial relationship.
Jesus once said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Peacemakers are road builders, helping others to find ways to come together in unity.
No path is more vital than that which leads to righteousness. This thought expresses two separate ideas. First and foremost is the way of salvation. Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
No one can come into fellowship with God except through Christ. He alone can lead us; he alone can bridge the many gaps which prohibit our approach by ourselves.
But righteousness is also a goal of spiritual maturity. As we grow more like Christ, we become more acceptable to God in character and deeds. The road which takes us in that direction is the way of the Spirit (Romans 8:1, 9-11; Galatians 5:16, 22-25).
When we set our attention upon the things of the Spirit and seek to let him bear fruit in our lives, we find ourselves drawn towards the character and nature of God, (Titus 2:11-12).
This path leads through faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love (2 Peter 1:5-7).
There are many roads, as there are many destinations. Some lead us to where we would not and should not go. Often these seem the widest and easiest of all to travel (Matthew 7:13-14).
They invariably prove the most difficult and harmful, however. We are urged to make straight paths, that encourage our feeble limbs to heal and strengthen. These paths lead us to peace, righteousness and eternal salvation.
By Michael E. Brooks