“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.” “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way;.. they shall not go astray... The redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Psalm 84:5-7; Isaiah 35:8-10
Many roads are frenzied, filled with people rushing to get somewhere or nowhere fast, mental and metal traffic poking, edging along with edgy drivers. Road ribbons turn over underpasses, swoop around and along, wind from point to point along the way. We choose starting points and destinations, yet on the road, the journey is master.
Every day, all life long, we move along highways, whether tangible ones or those through the interior of our souls. We are never completely stagnant. Even if home-bound, or physically debilitated, we still have roads of the heart and mind that are traveled upon continually and sometimes wander. The ransomed of the Lord, whose hope is set on Zion, travel apart from the rest.
We live among them. Those whose destination is the Lord Himself have a different cadence, a unique joy, an unordinary, supernatural strength and unshakeable hope the world does not own, understand, or desire. When they traverse a valley of sorrow– and those vales can be dark, and long, and dry– they make it a place of springs, they find deep wells of peace that is other-worldly. Each day they trust for just enough, going by faith from strength to strength, steady, joyful, fixed on the ultimate end. Their perspective is eternal, their tempo divinely controlled. The way they take is not only known by God their Maker, but particularly designed and inscribed by His sovereign, gracious hand on their hearts to span all their numbered days. (Job 23:10; John 14:27)
The Way of Holiness, the Road of the Redeemed, is at times lonely, but always, always a highway of gladness. We can make it our byway, no matter our life path, because it is a road unlike any other, determined by submission to the all-wise Master Planner. Wherever my location, have I set the destination of my heart? What detours tempt and distract? Whatever my career path, my ministry, my place of residence, my ‘crowd,’ is my interior paved with pure motives, Spirit-led thinking, an undivided heart?
“Oh, to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee:
prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
seal it for thy courts above.” ~Robert Robinson (1758)
Good Master, in every place You lead me on this earth, keep me on Your Highway of Holiness, singing with joy Your highest praise.