Cactus flowers often bloom in spring; yet, the duration of their blooms can be as fleeting as a single day… a simple blink in nature. My favorite color is yellow. For some reason yellow has always felt like home; the color tattooed upon my soul.
This past weekend I took a short trip with my husband, daughter and my dad to the lease. The lease is a place of thousands of acres where you can unplug from anything which requires electricity, deadlines and drama. The only necessity is breathing in as deeply as you breathe out: taking in peace and releasing stress.
As the second day settled into drifting in and out of a lazy sleep under the shade of a tin roof, I heard my father approach on his 4-wheeler.
“Let’s go see if we can’t find you some yellow cactus flowers!”
Grabbing my camera, I settled into the comfortable seat beside my father. He kindly stopped here and there as we spotted a splattering of flowers. We took our time, not allowing a schedule to dictate speed or intent.
What a beautiful ride.
I was thinking upon the delightfulness of the moment when I was nearly shaken out of the vehicle. I no longer saw a trail before me; rather, I saw sharp rocks, dips, low hanging limbs and the front of the 4-wheeler bouncing as roughly as my own body.
I took hold of the grab bar and felt the vibration move from my hand to my neck. The camera kept trying to slip off my lap as I white-knuckled the strap with my other hand. I lost all sense of peaceful direction as we made turns I wasn’t expecting.
“What was that all about?” I finally said after we came to a stop.
Dad chuckled. “They don’t call that Rocky Road for nothing.”
I repositioned myself on the seat and tried to regroup before he noticed I was unsettled.
“Look,” he said.
I was still picking up thoughts left somewhere on Rocky Road, too distracted to realize what rested before me: a field of yellow.
“Oh, my! How beautiful!” I sat next to my father for a moment before I stepped out of the 4-wheeler and approached the clearing. I couldn’t help but look over my shoulder at the jagged rocks we traveled upon to get to such a spectacular place.
Dad knew the way. Even when my focus was off, he kept us going.
I held on not knowing when the road would change. In truth, I held on not knowing if I could fully trust myself to stay steady enough to… well, hold on. But I remained because I trusted the driver. I trusted the one who invited me on the journey.
How many times do we question if our rocky road will ever end? Often our most jolting happenings are things and events we never anticipated and would never invite into our lives: not part of our plan.
“Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s’” (2 Chronicles 20:15).
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Genesis 45:8).
I am a “but God” kinda gal. Through several unexpected landings on Rocky Road, I have learned God is driving; not any other person including myself has that much control. He is in charge. Yes, God’s plans will always be for his ultimate glory. Even when I don’t understand, I still trust the driver.
God is faithful. God is stable. And God is ultimately leading me into a closer relationship with him, whether I am on jagged rocks or in fields of yellow. He knows the way. He has always known the way.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life’” (John 14:6). Jesus offers us hope, direction, and a relationship. He doesn’t depend upon our faithfulness or the strength of our grip. No. His strength is more than enough.
“Let’s go see if we can’t find you some yellow cactus flowers!” Dad shouted.
Little did I know such a journey would be anything but easy. But, friend, the view in the end…. Sweet Jesus, thank You! Such is the story of life and living.
I thought I was lost on a road that would never end, BUT GOD….
SGLY, dear reader.
(Smile, God Loves You.)
Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier, Instagram: @tiffanysgly, and Twitter: @tiffanychartier.