“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
- Romans 3:23-24
When my husband and I went on our ‘belated’ honeymoon to Maui (belated being a year and a half after our wedding) we heeded all the advice we received from friends and locals and planned a full day to drive the Road to Hana. A little after 7 am one morning, we grabbed our maps, all the travel tips from blogs I’d screenshotted on my phone, and a bag full of snacks to start our drive on one of the most popular roads in the world. However, once we started going, my anxiety started to rise. The roads were dangerously curvy, there were tons of cars pulled over on the side of the road, and it seemed like every 10 minutes we were coming up on a one-lane bridge. Road conditions aside, I was also overwhelmed by all the options for local recommendations and tourist destinations along the way. Why couldn’t there just be a stress-free, one-size-fits-all approach to the day trip?
As I look back on that experience, I realize our Christian walk is a little like the Road to Hana. It’s not straight. It’s filled with options and choices along the way. You can go from blissful and happy, peacefully staring at a waterfall one moment to screaming at traffic the next. But more than any similarity shared by the two examples, you have to keep driving toward what is ahead and press on to get to the final destination.
Do you feel guilty that your journey as a Christian isn’t always consistent? Are you growing frustrated at yourself for not having it all together in your faith? Girl, I feel you.
But let me assure you of this; our path to righteousness is not going to be perfect. It’s not flawless or filled only with moments of joy and success. We’re going to fail, let people down, and take some wrong turns. Taking it even further, God knew when He made us that we weren’t going to have it all figured out.
Romans 3:23 tells us “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (NIV). But the chapter doesn’t stop there. In the very next verse, Paul finishes the point: “And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” - Romans 3:24
We will make mistakes and fall short of God’s glory, but no matter what we have to keep making the choice to move forward every single day. We are called to never turn around, never throw our hands up in frustration, and not to settle with playing it safe. Why? Because we are redeemed and justified FREELY by the grace of Jesus, and He can take our brokenness and use it for His plans and our purpose.
About an hour into our drive on the Road to Hana, I realized that if we were going to enjoy our drive and complete our trip, we were going to have to take it mile by mile and choose to not get overwhelmed along the way. With an attitude adjustment and a fresh perspective, we ended up having a once-in-a-lifetime day experience.
As we grow in our faith and walk through life with Christ, we need to remember to take it day by day, and mile by mile; forgetting what is behind and striving toward what is ahead. Let’s courageously choose to pursue righteousness even as sinners because we are deeply loved and redeemed by our Savior whose mercies are new every single morning.
Questions for Reflection:
Redemption means something different to everyone. How has Christ redeemed areas of your life or situations that were broken?
Are there areas of your life you have doubts about Christ being able to redeem or make whole again? List them out and then turn them over to Him in prayer, asking Him to help you in your unbelief (Mark 9:24)
- Jantzen Jolly-Miller