When Barred Ways Are Better

He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked.(Lamentations 3:9)

Let me ask you a question: When is a barred way better than an open way? The answer is simple: When God is the One barring the way! Read on and be comforted today.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking God to lead you on a straight path toward your destination. We see the psalmists praying this time and time again. David prayed, “Lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors” (Psalm 27:11). And God certainly was faithful to deliver David from his enemies. But we also see the example of Paul, arguably the greatest human evangelist in history, who, during his second missionary journey, was “kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia” (Acts 16:6). Do you have any doubts that Paul and his companions prayed earnestly for a straight path to winning souls in Asia? Yet the Spirit of God barred the way.

We all know from both personal experience and sacred Scripture that God will sometimes bar our way with blocks of stone and make our paths crooked. Why would He do this? Because our God knows exactly what we need; He knows precisely when we need it; and He knows how best to deliver it to us. Barred ways are definitely better when it is our God who is barring the way.

Always remember, Christian, that the barred way does not mean that God has withdrawn His loving-kindness from you. It’s just the opposite! If we could understand everything that God is doing in our lives, He would not be God and we would not need Him. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29); God need not explain His ways to us, just as He did not explain His ways to Job, for we have the sure and certain promise that His way is good and wise and the absolute best way we could travel, regardless of any blocks of stone or crooked paths that may impede our travel. There is no need to pray for an unbarred way, because our God has promised to be with us every step of the way, and that is enough for us to know.

Have you been confronted by any barred ways in your personal or professional life lately? Certainly the whole world has been turned upside-down by the recent onslaught of the coronavirus. People have lost their jobs, some have lost their businesses, and some have lost loved ones to this dread disease.

Perhaps your barred way is something much more mundane; perhaps you were just turned down for the promotion you had been hoping for at work. Perhaps you are a rising high school senior who has just learned that you will not be accepted at the college or university you most wanted to attend. Get your eyes off the blocks of stone that are in your way and fix your focus on your beautiful Savior! He is guiding you on the perfect path that will ultimately accomplish the two most important things in this lifetime: God’s glory and your good. And I am sure you will agree with me that anything that brings us to our knees and into intimate communion with Him, no matter how painful in the moment, is a better way.

Remember these words from God, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8). When God is barring the way, it is because He is preparing to lead us in a much better way. This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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