It was 1998. My wife and I had just filled our belly’s with a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast and we were smiling with the satisfaction from the memories of family, food, and good conversation. The festivities had finished and we were traveling back to our home from grandma’s house. Winter was relentless that year; and this day was no different. The wind was blowing fiercely, as it does often, and the temperature was strangely hovering around the point of freezing. As we left my in-law’s home it was dry, but as we ventured a few miles towards the homestead, the worst thing started to happen: freezing rain. I could start to see the little droplets begin to harden on the windshield. Some were hardening in striations that resembled little ribbonettes of ice. The heater was starting to be overcome and was having a difficult time keeping up. We really wanted to get home because our dogs were waiting there for us. So, I pressed onward going very slowly on the interstate as the terrible conditions started getting worse by the minute. About halfway home, I began to notice a severe lack of traction. Therefore, not wanting to risk any danger, I slowed down even more. Scanning the distance ahead of me, I saw a strange sight unfold. Cars started to spin everywhere and in every direction. A single Ford Taurus slowly spun backwards then its tires gripped hard on the road and violently whirled it the other direction. Then, my eyes widened with a sense of awestruck when every vehicle ahead of me commenced in a cacophony of pirouettes as each car found itself in the snow-covered ditch. Right away, I felt a terrible sensation of dread as I noticed my Dodge was doing the same dance as well. I spun one way, then suddenly changed direction. At one point, I thought I had saved it because I was going straight again, but to my dismay, the oscillation started again and suddenly a great spray of white powder and ice shot upward over my windshield and covered my view. Crud! We are now the new residents of “Ditchville”.
Our lives can sometimes spin out of control; suddenly and for no predictable reason. We can be startled awake abruptly and find ourselves saying: “Heck, I am in the ditch!” If that is where you are at right now in your life, if you are unexpectedly stuck in a place that you did not intend to be, don’t panic, help is only a call to the Savior away.
Being stuck in the metaphorical ditch of your life is not an entirely bad thing. There is much to learn there and secret blessings can be found along the way as well. For instance, did you know that in the ditch you can find a delicious vegetable called: Asparagus? One of the benefits of having a wife that grew up “country” is that you get to hear things from a different perspective. She shared with me; that during some seasons, you can travel along side rural highways, and hidden in their ditches, if you look close enough, you will find wild asparagus. Yes, the vegetable you pay so much for at the grocery store, grows wild in the country’s highway roadside. One would never expect to find such a delicious angiosperm in a place that collects and funnels unwanted water, rocks and debris? But there it is; right there for the picking, if you know where to look.
Something can be learned from every experience you have, whether elating or difficult. When I was struck with such difficult diagnosis’, when I fell and hit my head, causing a terrible brain trauma and almost traveling prematurely to heaven that day, I learned to rely on Jesus daily for my strength and began a deep friendship that I will take with me into eternity. Now, over a year later, I would never change that experience for anything. I took the time to get out of the car, walk along the ditch and I found my wild asparagus; and I ate it. I tasted of its goodness and labored to endeavor to find all that this adventure had for me. Asking the Lord questions, framed for me the picture of why this happened and what I was to learn of it. When tragedy strikes a person down, usually, the first question they ask God is: Why? The answer to that question was never answered for me, but the second question I had was. I wanted to know what I was supposed to learn from this season I was now in; and that question WAS answered for me.
If you find yourself face down in the ditch, if the destination that you have arrived at was not intended, then cry out to the Lord for help. He is waiting there for you and wants to show you all the riches that His Kingdom has for a person. You may find yourself walking the ditch by the roadside bending down to pluck from the ground the wisdom the Lord had intended for you from the beginning.
Here is a verse to keep things in focus:
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”(NIV)
We just don’t have the wisdom of God. So, don’t even bother trying to figure out things for yourself. Go to the Creator and ask for His wisdom and His truth. It will help you get past the “why” question and straight on towards the “what am I supposed to learn from this experience”. People can sometimes spin their wheels by getting fixated on the “why’s” and forget about the business of living and learning from it. That is the essence of true wisdom; a wisdom that will get both you and your family right in front of the beauty of a Risen Savior who wants nothing more that to lavish His love on you.
The Great Plains Poet, one who walks along life’s ditches, looking for the hidden treats that God has planted for us to learn.
Please feel free to take the time to comment, subscribe, re-post, hit the like button here and on Facebook, and most of all, tell others what you have learned here today.
That Which Lies Within The Weeds
By Chris T.
What have I done to spin out of control?
The seasons have passed so quickly and sure.
There seems to be a principle that has eluded,
My thoughts and my attention.
My life has been in a crash,
A violent one indeed,
As if I have laid my head back,
Capturing the picture that swirls around in my head,
Only to lose control and hitting the ground hard.
When one is in the ditch it can be an epical experience.
It should teach, instruct of wisdom and truth.
And if your concern is only on circumstance,
Then its lesson is lost on introspection and me-ism.
If eyes are wide open and ears are placed thus,
Upon the call of God’s truth and the place one is at,
The impartation of astuteness is complete,
Making the journey just one more step farther than before.
So I’ll comb the grass of this ditch,
Keeping vigilant to learn of its truth,
Bringing a completeness of something that I lacked,
To find the fragrant flower that lies with in its weeds.