Saturday, June 23, 2012

God Doesn’t Make Straight Lines

A few years ago, I went over the handlebars of a bicycle and ripped open my right forearm. The gash was large and deep. Friends rushed me to the emergency room where the doctors stitched me up. Two days later, I had a fever of 103° and uncontrollable shakes. My doctor advised me to get to the ER as fast as possible. As soon as the check in nurse saw my arm, I was rushed ahead of the entire waiting room, and within minutes they had removed my sutures, allowing the poison in my arm to literally flow out, causing the nurse to step back and gasp.
They pushed an IV in my other arm and started me on antibiotics. The head nurse came in and said, “You will be here several days; this is not good.” Over the next three days, I watched the red infection consume my entire arm and progress to my shoulder. They were readying me for an amputation, as they had me on the strongest antibiotics we possess, and it did nothing. As a last resort, hospital staff wheeled me into a dark room where they called in an expert in sonogram reading. White-coated doctors and students filled the room as they used my body as a test case. Five minutes in, this specialist broke the eerie silence and said, “Nurse, take a picture of this. Does everyone see that? God does not make straight lines.” My head spun to catch the man’s eyes. I had never felt such relief. This doctor knew that I had something foreign in my body because God creates beautiful curves. The original doctor had left a one-inch sliver of wood in my arm, and it was killing me. The staff hurried me into surgery and removed this deadly straight line.
As I contemplate my life, I see curve after curve, bend after bend, and what appears to be, detour after detour. I have often considered these diversions as a nuisance keeping me from His purpose. The truth is God does not make straight lines. When one reviews the great men and women of the Bible, you will see that no one had a straight line. Instead, their life is marked with upsets, setbacks, and deviations. God then uses your personal experiences to propel His gospel in a way that no other man, woman, or child could possibly accomplish. You are unique, not so you can make money, become popular, or gain power. No, your life’s path contains curves and bends to spread the gospel to a dead world who desperately cries out for help. Embrace your apparent detour. Study it. Learn from it. And get ready, because God wants to use you, and you alone, to change eternity for a select few. God doesn’t make straight lines, so stop trying and simply rest in His leading, His wisdom, and His purpose. Life becomes more peaceful when we truly rest, knowing His love supersedes our own desires.