“Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other…Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence…Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him.” Eccl 6:9-8:6.
There are few people I know who will beam and speak of God’s blessings during tough times. Most of these experiences are reserved when things are going well…financial success…obedient children… wonderful marriages…good health. But these are not the things that spiritual growth is made of. Spiritual growth comes in the tension of the crooked path…times when the bank account is empty…time when parents lay awake at night wondering where their child is…times when the prognosis is grim. The one thing adversity has in common is the desire to get out from under it as quickly as possible.
‘Do not hurry to leave the king’s presence…’ It is true that God has more of our attention in the rough and rocky times. When times are good, our walk is easy and straight ahead, but when life is filled with challenges…those crooked paths…we look for detours. The crooked paths are gifts from God, for they are the times when He raises His scepter, inviting us into the throne room. The crooked paths are made to slow us down and linger in His presence. They are only seasons while they feel like eternity. They are filled with raw emotions that force us to ‘reach out and touch His hem.’ They are times when we are prone to focus on His past goodness and faithfulness to steady us in the present. So when your straight path becomes crooked, acknowledge that He is in it…do not rush through it, but linger…tell your heart that the path is temporary and there is an end to every season.
Only God can straighten what has been made crooked. Trust in Him, rest in His presence, and consider all He has done.