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A Broken Road

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A Broken Road - St Shenouda Monastery Pimonakhos Articles

Louis Armstrong flared our passions, almost teasing our poignant yet innocent desires singing the lyrics of his song “What a Wonderful World” as such we all hope to love and live. The imagery of red roses blooming, the truly wonderful creation we are surrounded by, and the beauty of love that is lived not just sung, human exchanges with the fine touches of simplicity, childlike joy. Although we delight to envisage such a world, we are dismayed by the far reality of the life that is actually being endured. So often this ‘Wonderful World’ is contrasted by formidable chance circumstances disturbing our sense of its true beauty! A.W.Tozer, a noble Christian Philosopher parted us with this arduous quote to ponder “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply”. Has one or more of your life ‘plans’ been arguably challenged, delayed, abruptly re-directed or all together destroyed?

God will use your broken roads to create some noise, as C.S Lewis masterfully explains that “pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Pain urges us in the very least to re-think our plans in life, if not make a complete U-turn. Sometimes God messes one plan, sometimes more than one in a very short space of time. The prophet Elijah as realistically described by Fr Anthony Messiah (orthodoxsermons.org) in a Bible Study Series on his life unveils Gods purposes in broken roads, as profoundly articulated by Fr Anthony God ‘broke’ Elijah then He ‘crushed’ him. Rendering the great prophet exhausted before he became emotionally drained. Lacking the energy and drive he rested in the heart of the wilderness for comfort such the Angel of the Lord responded supplying daily food while the great man of God regained his strength physically. A broken road may wear you out, confuse you, and psychologically drain you to breaking point. Please do not associate this with weak spirituality on your part, not at all, but a deliberate storm from the heavens to divinely correct your plans, realign your prayer to pray the will of God, the Holy Spirit will speak in you as He did to St Paul declaring ‘we are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed’ 2 Corinthians 4:8. In the first sense I used the word crushed in a worldly context, here in a spiritual one. It’s the same as “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” C.S Lewis.

Even a broken road can show you Gods strength in your own life. St John Chrysostom reminds us that trials become a gift in themselves to justify Gods strengths in our weakness “My strength is made perfect in weakness” Acts 12:9. So weak were the Israelites before the imperious Pharaoh and the Egyptian Army, too weak that a miracle to part the Red Sea heard them praise ‘The Lord is a man of war’ Exodus 15:3, fighting your very war is what God will do in your broken road, so powerfully embrace Him on this faltering, His grace ever so real to blow your senses away, deeming alive what had died in you. Dreams you dared not speak, laughter you thought not yours, a new world opens before you as you leap out of your protective incubator to higher realms, where all that’s changed is all that’s in your mind. Though you had lost your way just as Pontius Pilate once questioned “What is truth?” when truth stood straight before him, that to which Spurgeon likened as explaining grace to a non-believer is almost the same as explaining sight to a blind man! Though you may think you were “Waiting on the Lord” before tuning into “The will of God for your life”, proceeding into searching the scriptures in hope for promises claiming “Suffering to turn into Joy”, but all that was there would not have become touched and known until God has put you on that broken road, not only correcting your life choices, but correcting you. The fruition is of correcting your views to life’s challenging decisions, making the right choices for your life daily, broadening your capacity to rightfully discern in view of the greater picture of life in every one of its aspects that concerns you, romancing you out of a dark pit of your past that has by large tied you in fear without the grace in understanding the joys of God. The startled Israelites praised “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Exodus 15:11.