I remember walking out of the state-of-the-art fertility clinic with my husband. We had come to seek a second opinion from a highly regarded infertility specialist after four years of testing, treatments, and heartache.
Our appointment with the doctor had not gone well. He was arrogant, overlooked our questions, and seemed flippant about our journey as he outlined his proposed course of treatment. We left his office feeling uneasy and confused about what our next steps should be.
As we stepped into the sunshine and walked to our car, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “This is not what I have for you.” My husband felt the exact same pull on his heart.
At the time, we thought perhaps the Lord did not like this particular doctor or his chosen methods for helping us, but as the days went by, we both had a stronger sense that God was actually calling us away from infertility treatments as a whole.
The more I prayed about it, the more I sensed God was asking us to lay our efforts aside. It was time to put away the medication, stop the doctor appointments, cease striving and join Him on the long, hard road of childlessness.
At first, every fiber in my being resisted. I begged God to give us something else to pursue — a different doctor, adoption, natural remedies for healing my body. Over and over, I heard God say, “That is not what I have for you. Come join me on this road through the wilderness.”
To many people, I’m sure it looked like we had just given up and thrown in the towel on our plans to start a family. The truth is, we were (and still are) obediently following God on this hard road that He has called us to. It may not make sense to the world around us, and it occasionally does not make sense to me either, but I know we are doing what He has asked of us and Jesus has sustained us every step of the way.
God often calls us to difficult things. In Matthew 7:14, Jesus said, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Did you notice where the hard way leads? It leads to life.
Our difficult calling has a destination. God does not ask us to wander the wilderness aimlessly. Our roads are going somewhere glorious — into the heart of God Himself.
The Greek word used for life is zōē, and it holds a sense of vitality, fullness, animation, and devotion to God. It is the absolute fullness of life with God. This is the same word that Jesus uses in John 10:10 when He speaks about the abundant life. These hard roads are highly profitable if we are willing to stay on them.
Jesus was no stranger to walking difficult roads — His entire ministry was fraught with hardship, and the final days of His life were especially lonely and painful.
From the Garden of Gesthemane to standing trial, being beaten and tortured, and then dying on a cross, Jesus stayed true to the call God had given Him. Jesus had plenty of opportunities to step off His hard road. He could have summoned legions of angels. He could have taken Himself down off the cross. He could have avoided the whole ordeal altogether, but He chose to remain “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).
So how exactly do we stay on our hard roads? What kept Jesus on the course that the Father had called him to? 1 Peter 2:23 gives us the answer to that question, “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”
Jesus continually entrusted Himself to God. Over and over, He trusted in the love of his Father and in the eternally redemptive outcome of His plan, and we are invited to do the same.
God desires that we might entrust ourselves daily to Him. We do this simply by walking with Him in prayer, reading His Word, and trusting in His good and loving heart. We can stay the course by following Christ’s example.
Friends, I don’t know what hard road God has called you to right now. Maybe it’s singleness or enduring an invisible illness, maybe it’s working in a job you dislike or living with family members who test your patience every day.
Hard roads are hard. The easy way out is tempting, but if God has called you to walk on a difficult path, He will sustain you on it. So fix your eyes on Jesus, entrust yourself to God, and keep putting one foot in front of another as you journey toward the life in God that awaits you.
If God has called you to walk on a difficult path, He will sustain you on it. -Rebecca Young: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Diane Thiel says
This message is a gift to me. He carries so many and i know of this journy pressing closer to Him in weary times. Thank you fir your courage and His love. AMEN AND AMEN
I’m so glad this message blessed you, Diane. May you continue to press into the heart of God in your weary times.
Thank you for sharing your words. Trusting in God!
Thank you, Jas! I pray you will continue to trust in God, no matter what roads He may lead you down.
Lynna Clark says
Love your determination to stay strong for God and his plan. From experience I also know how hard this must have been for you. I lost my first baby, had a son then a second son, Thank God. But then I lost four more babies and always wondered what is going on, God you know I what to have six children, prefer boys but that was up to God. BUT He know what my future was and that I would raise my sons alone. Their father had a greater need and love of alcohol than he did for us, however, God being God got us through the tough times. I was able to feed, clothe, and send my sons to school. GOD KNEW I would never be able to take on six young lives and do the job I needed to raise them all. So, He has them with him and one day we will all be in Heaven. Your story greatly touched my heart and I thank you for sharing!
Rebecca Young says
Lynna, what a beautiful testimony to how God has sustained you on some very hard roads. I am encouraged by your perspective even though you have seen such loss and hardship. Thank you for sharing part of your story with me!
Pearl Allard says
Beautiful reminder, Rebecca. Thank you.
Thank you Pearl! 🙂
What a precious gift this message is to my soul this morning! Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts with me today.
I’m so glad this resonated with you Renee, thank you!
Thank you for your encouraging post. God had a different road for me too. I always thought I would be married and have a couple of kids by 35. But God had different plans. I was single up until 40ish then God brought Mr right who was single up till 40 ish too. As for kids God said no. God has a ministry here for us and a dog named sam. Who is the cutest thing ever. We are starting to get to know our neighbors here. It is very international in our neighborhood and our Church. We are excited to see God working. Thanks again for your encouraging post.
Thea, I am so encouraged to hear you are embracing the road that God has set you and your husband on. I know He will help you press into Himself and into the ministry He has called you to. Sam is lucky to have you! 🙂
This one hits close to home. My husband and I struggled with infertility and we adopted a little boy. But now we are struggling with do we adopt another and to be honest I don’t really have the desire to do so. I don’t know what God’s plan is. I’m also struggling with my job. I don’t know where God’s plan is in that either. I struggle with having an only child, but my husband made a good point… it maybe what Ethan needs because he came with some trauma. Im holding on to the fact that God is walking with me and will lead me.
Rebecca Young says
Megan, it sounds like you are currently on a hard road with God as you navigate some of these decisions before you. It’s so hard when we don’t have a clear sense of His plan for our future, but I pray that you will continue to know that God is indeed walking beside you through it all.
Beth Williams says
There are many many hard roads in life. No said living here between two Edens would be easy. I have traveled the long road of dementia/geriatric psych for 10 years. God saw me through it & allowed me to be there for my parents. Thankfully He has taken them home. Now I’m facing the long arduous road of prostate, bladder cancer, diabetes with FIL & vertigo with other health issues with MIL. Trying my best to help hubby with them. It’s not easy when you don’t get along that well with your dad. We are trudging through. I know God will get us through this journey & plant us where He wants us.
I read your post this morning for the fourth time. I just don’t want it to be true. I’ve made many decisions in the last 6 years out of obedience. I have many, many things to be greatful for, but the singleness, corporate role and sole caregiver for parents is hard and not how I pictured or wanted my life to be. Thank you for sharing and speaking so honestly. I’m sure I’ll continue to come back to this post time and time again.
God asked me to walk the hard road of standing for marriage after adultery destroyed my marriage. That was 14 years ago which have included 7 years of separation and 7 years of him returning home – more messed up than when he left. Many people have questioned my choice but when God asks you to do something you just do it. Just the other day I asked God again what He wanted me to do. He said, “Remain”. So I’ll keep praying, keep loving unconditionally, keep forgiving, & keep striving for healing. My husband’s soul is far more important than my happiness. God told me 14 years ago I could take one of 2 roads. One road was the path most people chose but the other was His path. That road was long and hard but the rewards would be great. I have seen Him in ways I never would have if I would have taken the other road. He has taught me more than I could ever imagine about intercessory prayer, forgiveness, laying down my rights, hearing His voice and so much more. Your words today were again just another confirmation from Him. Thank you for sharing.
JSG I’ll be praying for you.
My ex husband left when our youngest who is 12, was a baby. I have sensed God telling me to wait. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. My ex husband was saved 3 years ago after he broke things off with the girlfriend. I continue to sense God telling me to wait. I have approached my ex about this 3 times & he says no. I believe it is Gods will, I don’t think my ex is surrendering to God. We hardly talk & he isn’t kind to me. He says he doesn’t have anything against me but he is distant bc he doesn’t want to lead me or the kids on. He has yet to apologize for anything w the affair or divorce or pain. I continue on this hard road.
Becky Beresford says
Thank you for this, Rebecca! I have been walking a pretty rough road lately, and these words really spoke to me. I love how you said our hard roads lead us right into the heart of God Himself. So good!
Blessings to you, Sister!