Psalm 65:11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance. (NLT – New Living Translation)
Hard pathways come in all sizes and shapes – illness, loss, unexpected changes, traumatic events. Living with someone who has a brain disorder.
I don’t particularly like this pathway God has us on, but there it is, in all of its unpredictability and pain.
Our local Christian shelter for women had a special graduation for those who had completed one of their programs. The speaker referred to this passage in Psalms. She talked about some of the hard pathways which had led them to this day. There were domestic violence victims, recovering alcoholics and drug abusers, women who had found themselves living on the streets, cancer survivors. Their hard pathways had brought them to this shelter and now, because of Christ’s transformative power, to a life full of fresh possibilities.
Later I was thinking about our own hard pathway. Yes, I could see the abundance of lessons learned, the power of prayer, the dependency upon Christ.
But overflowing? Really, Lord?
Absolutely. God’s blessings are not marginal, or dependent upon our goodness or faithfulness. They are constant – and yes, overflowing – based upon His goodness and faithfulness alone.
As I look back on this thirty-year journey, I can see how far God has brought me. From an angry, sulking, selfish person to someone who can (at least most of the time) look with compassion on this person in our home who has to live within the confines of an incurable illness. I can pray without judgment. I can ask God for forgiveness without trying to justify myself.
Occasionally I find myself slipping back into that earlier state of mind, but I can truly say that this hard pathway has been, and still is, overflowing with God’s grace and mercy.