Have you ever driven on an unfamiliar road? If so, then perhaps you are the kind of person who just kept going and going, hoping you’d see a familiar landmark or a major highway. Maybe there were several times when you thought it would be best to turn around and go back the way you came. But then you’d come to a bend in the road and say, “Let’s see what’s around this corner and then we’ll go back if we need to.”
Be honest now. How many times did you say, “Just one more corner”? If your spouse and children were riding with you, they probably counted every one of those times. The fact of the matter is that every corner led to somewhere. Some led to new and interesting sites. Some led to dead ends. Some eventually put you right back where you had started. Some, much to your surprise, took you where you wanted to go.
Our lives are filled with these “corners.” We mark them off in one second increments. Each one is an adventure, for even though we are sure of what’s going to happen, we soon discover that we never really know what lies ahead. We plan to keep an appointment at a designated time. A tire goes flat on the car just before it is time to leave for the meeting. We embark on a wonderful vacation. Someone in the family gets sick on the way and we have to turn back. We fret about hearing the results of a doctor’s examination. He tells us that we are the picture of good health. We go to confront someone who has done wrong, expecting him or her to be offended and to fly off the handle at us. He or she appreciates our concern, admits the wrong and repents. We constantly anticipate what’s ahead, certain that what we feel is around the corner is exactly what we will find. Sometimes it is and sometimes we are completely surprised.
What we do know regarding that which is around the corner is that God will be there. The Psalmist wrote, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalm 90:2). Hebrews 13:5-6 reads, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Again, returning to the Psalms, we find the inspired writer saying, “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and my uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1-4). Whatever we may find when we round the bend, we can rest assured that we are not lost if we are traveling with God according to His will.
We also know that around each corner lies an opportunity to grow in the faith and to honor and glorify God. No matter what lies ahead, we can learn from the experience. Uncertain about the direction his remaining days would take, the apostle Paul nonetheless wrote, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9). The statesman, Patrick Henry is renowned for saying, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” Centuries earlier a man of God named Joshua said it even better. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15). Both Paul and Joshua saw opportunities to serve God in their futures, regardless of what others were doing.
One other fact we know regarding what’s around the corner is the fact that eternity awaits us there. The hymns say, “Each step I take just leads me closer home” and “We are going down the valley, one by one.” Psalm 90:10 reads, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Solomon wrote, “Man goeth to his long home.” (Ecclesiastes 12:5). One of these moments we’re going to turn a corner and see eternity on the horizon. It will be just that quick, for our lives are like the withering grass and the fading flower (I Peter 1:24). The way we used our time as we traveled life’s road will determine the scene that will appear before us in eternity when we round that final turn.