Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crooked Things


It puzzles me; but, Lord,

Thou understandest,
And will one day explain
this crooked thing.

Meanwhile I know

that it has worked
out Thy best-
Its very crookedness
taught me to cling.


The above is a quote from Streams in the Desert (Vol I) ; one I highlighted back in 1989 when many a crooked thing made it difficult to see my way along the road ahead, much less navigate it.

About the time the winding course would seem to level out, another jog would appear - often at a sharp right or left angle. It was difficult to see beyond, and the only way forward was fraught with difficulty.

Nothing was familiar; and crooked had become the day's theme. My heart took up a lament, and it felt ever-so-much like the biblical lament spoken long before it:

He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
He has weighted me down with chains.
He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
Even when I call out or cry for help,
He shut out my prayer.
He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
He has made my paths crooked.

Lamentations 3:6-9

As time went on, and certainly now that 20+ years have lapsed, the benefit of 20/20 hindsight allows for an entirely different perspective.

In my rear-view mirror I can see that the crooked places have been straightened.

Reality is merely an illusion,
albeit a very persistent one.

Albert Einstein


I am left incredulous at the wonder that has become my life. It's not a fancy life; at least not in terms of swelling successes, or notable notations, or multiplied coffers - not that any of those things are wrong, or bad, or undesirable in themselves.

It's just that the rich stuff that comprises my life today is vastly different from what I forged alone, often through enormous striving initiatives. Perhaps that - striving - is among the very crookeds of my heart that had to be straightened!

Whatever ... it is a good life, primarily because those crooked things & places insisted upon my developing the art of clinging to Him. Truth be told, even that was not of my own doing. I mean; who wouldn't cling tenaciously to a life raft in a swelling sea filled with sharks?

Thus it has become a meaningful, secure, rewarding, contented existence - and it is so whether I do anything or not. It's not about doing so much as it's about clinging. It's our human being-ness that adds value; not our human doing-ness.

I can cherish this life - the one I'm privileged to live out - because He does.

So it is that I dare not boast or claim acute good sense, or lay out a litany of evidence of how & why the Lord plays it, my life..

It's what He did - and does - IN me that is my greatest boast. He makes the crooked places straight there first which, in turn, makes for fewer crooked places out there - "there" being life's course. That's not to say I don't navigate difficult roads or face uncertain times. It's just that I have no reason to doubt God's faithfulness. What He's begun and done/does in me, He will see to completion.

So much for striving.

Besides, He does all things well, and making crooked things un-crooked is His forte!

As is written in the book of the
words of Isaiah the prophet:
"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.

And all mankind will see God's salvation.' "
Luke 3:4-6; Isaiah 40:3-5)

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16

18 comments:

Rita said...

Thank the Lord, He does not forake us on those long and crooked paths. I had to stop and thank Him for a prayer that was answered recently. He is so good!

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

I LOVED this post! One of my favorite parts was:

"It's not about doing so much as it's about clinging. It's our human being-ness that adds value; not our human doing-ness."

Yes, it is 'forte'. It's all about clinging.

Debbie said...

Right now, I can identify with that lament. My path seems so crooked to me. But I know God has a plan and a purpose in the midst of uncertainty.

Thank you for sharing words of wisdom and also your personal experience. It helps me so much. Right now ...I am clinging!

Love you,
Debbie

Karen Lange said...

Love that scripture in Isaiah 40. Long story, but someday will share it with you. Nothing more to say than "Amen". Thanks as always for sharing.
Blessings,
Karen

Diana said...

There is a song that says He will deliver even when the path seems too crooked!

Thanks for this post, Kathleen.

Just a little something from Judy said...

Your insights amaze me. Your dependence on Him and Him alone is so refreshing in an independently thinking world. The crooked paths and the straight paths...all are part of this complex journey of my life. I love how you shared this today. I know God lead you to do it. Thank you!

Rose said...

Isn't it amazing that even when we make such a mess, God still can use us for the Glory of HIS kingdom. I had forgotten about Streams in the Desert...a long ago favorite of my fathers and mine, when he would share parts of it with me. That is where I got my love of the written word. Thanks for the reminder! Have a good day. Hugs,
Rose

Rebecca said...

Ah, so true. Looking back, His faithfulness becomes all the more clearer. I'm looking forward to the day when ALL that is crooked will be made straight..

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Kathleen, I simply love the way God uses you to send me messages. Thank You God. Amen!

beBOLDjen said...

What a timely reminder for me today. Last night, as I was praying prayers of clingingness toward the Lord, I felt just like the woman clinging to a raft. And, just as you wrote, I felt the Spirit whisper to me that it was exactly as He wanted it to be. Sometimes the deperate clinging is the very best thing for us. I sure look forward to seeing Him make straight the crooked paths in His time.

sonja said...

There was the equivalent of a whole book in this posting! A story of life... the picture of who we are, and who we become because of Him. You said it all here, and again, I could never have said it so well.

Thanks Kathleen, I always look forward to your new postings, and today's is a good reason why!

Blessings!

Sonja

Saleslady371 said...

Very uplifting when life is very crooked right now.

Heart2Heart said...

Kathleen,

Its through the most challenging roads in our life where we have experienced the greatest growth!

If you get a chance stop by my blog today for an exciting new giveaway.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Technonana said...

Praising Him that He can see the way when I am unable... and carries me when my strength is gone. For it is in the valleys that I have grown!! Still learning daily that He knows best!

christy rose said...

Amen! Making the crooked places straight is definitely His forte!
"It's what He did - and does - IN me that is my greatest boast." I love that!!!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I don't know about you, but I am so read for the straight pathway! this crookedness is wearing me out!

Love you sweet sister,
Beth

Jackie said...

Wonderful words Sister!

As I read each "turn" within your ponderings I was reminded of how faithful He has been, is now and will forever be to lead me through to the "un-crooked" path of His design!

Oh yes, He is so Faithful!!

Love, Hugs and Sweet Blessings!
Jackie

LisaShaw said...

And so when are you going to make your blog into a Blog2Print so that I can purchase one for my keep sake?

You have written a wealth of LIFE here. In so few words you have said a LOT!

This blessed me the most:

"I can cherish this life - the one I'm privileged to live out - because He does.

So it is that I dare not boast or claim acute good sense, or lay out a litany of evidence of how & why the Lord plays it, my life..

It's what He did - and does - IN me that is my greatest boast."


I am so thankful the LORD makes every crooked path straight and that we can boast of Him and His Greatness through the walking out of our lives in Him.

I love you. I just read a few of your blog posts above (which I've not commented on yet) but they caused me to roll back to the next one to see if I've missed something in missing my visits. I can now go comment (smile).

I see the Hand of GOD on you like the Potter to the clay. He is not done with you YET! Praise the LORD!! I love you.