A Bend in the Road

Oh no, not another detour. Just after we moved into our new home, a bridge near us was closed. The state has been replacing all the bridges that cross over the turnpike. It was our turn. It ended up not to be a huge inconvenience for us. For most of the project, there was at least one lane open.

As I crossed the bridge over the months the new one was under construction, I was interested in how the new bridge was going to connect to the existing road. It seemed to me there would have to be a pretty sharp bend in the road for it to work. As the bridge project neared completion, it really didn’t look like the road and the new bridge were going to join up. Cars were now using the new bridge, as the crews dismantled the old one. I kept thinking they really didn’t plan this well. There will be such a sharp turn in the road to get onto the bridge. I didn’t need a new reason to complain about how our tax dollars were being used, but here it was.

The day arrived to open the bridge completely. I drove up the road, expecting to slow down for the sharp curve, but it never came. I stayed straight on the road and sailed right across the new bridge and back onto the road on the other side without the slightest turn of the steering wheel. How did they do that? Just a few days ago, it looked like this result would be impossible. I remember seeing the old bridge next to the new one and how the new one didn’t connect to the road very well. But now, with the old bridge gone, and apparently some road work done I hadn’t noticed, the new bridge was perfectly aligned with the road.

How was this possible? It was because my perspective was not the perspective of the engineers and the road crews building the bridge. They knew the plan. They had the complete design and instructions. I only saw the steps as they came. I should have trusted that they knew what they were doing. But, of course, when it comes to Pennsylvania roads, I have been let down a time or two.

One day as I drove across the bridge, looking at the road and trying to figure out how they matched it up, I thought about how this bridge project is a good picture of God’s plan for my life. I don’t always see how God’s plan is going to work. I often think I’ve got it all figured out, and then God throws in a curve I didn’t see coming. How will this new bend in my road work out? It doesn’t seem like it will. But I don’t see the whole of God’s plan. I need to trust him. He is the master designer. There is never a flaw in his engineering skills. The twists and turns, the mountains and valleys he orchestrates turn out to be just right for me. And once his project is complete in me, it will be perfect. Until that day, I’ll keep trusting that his plan is better than my own—every time I cross the turnpike on that perfectly straight bridge.

“Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:5-6 ESV)