My son wrestles with two large toy trucks on our way into the orthodontist. He’s determined to carry them both inside himself.
One falls to the ground. He stoops to pick it up and as he grabs hold of the digging arm on the one truck, the other crashes down next to it.
But oh, Mommy cannot help carry these trucks. I offer. I even finally grip onto that yellow bulldozer as a sign that he didn’t need to handle both trucks at once.
Instead of letting go, my son silently holds on tighter and lifts that heavy machine out of my grasp.
These trucks are his treasures. He is not letting go.
Finally, after several crashes to the pavement, the trucks arrive in the dental office where they make paths through blocks, scale the sides of chairs and roll across railings.
At home later, they do what big trucks should do. They push tiny objects off the living room table and onto the floor. They blaze trails through toys and flatten ground.
As an infant, my son learned the names of these vehicles as some of his earliest vocabulary: “Truck. Car. Digger.” Now, he speaks with infinite more expertise: “Bulldozer, Dump Truck, Excavator, Crane, Cement Mixer, Delivery Van.”
I don’t know what it is about these trucks that hold this little man’s attention so, but I know why suddenly, after a lifetime of not caring much about them, I find myself newly impressed.
They make ways.
They flatten obstacles.
They clear paths.
What a reminder for those of us who need some “ways,” some impossibilities cleared and some mountains moved.
We can look at circumstances: at bank accounts and how the numbers don’t add up, at agendas and jam-packed calendars, at job expectations and the number of hours in a day.
We can see that and think ,”There’s just no way.”
No way for hope, for rescue, for there to be enough. No way for the good and the beautiful to come out of this rotten mess.
But here’s the good news: We serve a God who makes ways.
He parts waters so his people can walk straight across a sea on dry ground.
He leads the nation through the wilderness and all its enemies.
He strikes down evil kings and raises up righteous ones, He rescues His people from annihilation over and over again.
The prophet Isaiah reminded his people that the Lord
... is the one who made a road through the sea
and a path through rough waters.
17 He is the one who defeated the chariots and horses
and the mighty armies.
They fell together and will never rise again.
They were destroyed as a flame is put out.
18 The Lord says, “Forget what happened before,
and do not think about the past.
19 Look at the new thing I am going to do.
It is already happening. Don’t you see it?
I will make a road in the desert
and rivers in the dry land. (Isaiah 43:16-19 NCV).
No way out of the mess you’re in?
No problem. Not for our way-making God, the One who makes paths through the desert and springs up rivers from the dust.
Today, I read once again about the biggest impossibility of all.
Romans 3:20 tells us:
no one can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin.
There’s the obstacle of our sin, that huge mounding imperfection blocking us from right-standing with God.
We can’t be good enough. Not ever.
So what are we sin-prone folks supposed to do?
Steep ourselves in rules, have-to’s, must-do’s, traditions, and legalism?
Or give up on holiness altogether? Make excuses, justify, try to skirt the consequences?
These are our own “ways” and they are tangled up paths that lead us away from Jesus.
Paul says in the very next verse:
21 But God has a way to make people right with him without the law, and he has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about. 22 God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-22 NCV).
GOD HAS A WAY.
He bulldozes over the problem of sin. He plows through the strictures of the law and he lifts into place the weighty foundation of grace in the form of a cross.
And if He can do that, if He can make this astoundingly miraculous path to forgiveness and grace even when I didn’t deserve such rescue, I know I can trust Him in my every impossibility, my every hopeless situation, my every closed door, my every mountain of a problem.
He can make a way.
Originally published June 24, 2016