When Dorothy began her journey in the land of Oz, she took the yellow brick road. Along her walk on this road, she met friends and faced trials. It wasn’t easy, but taking the yellow brick road eventually led her to the man behind the curtain, and eventually back home. But what if she’d chosen to follow the red bricks, instead of the yellow ones?
Who knows; perhaps Dorothy’s journey wouldn’t have been full of such trials. Maybe the wicked witch would have lavished her with a bunch of nice things, and make her feel like she fits in. All she’d have to do, is give up her ruby slippers. Doing so would have ruined any chance of Dorothy getting back home, and it would have given the witch a great amount of power. Dorothy wouldn’t have developed relationships with the tin man, or the lion or the scarecrow, that are so vital to the plot of the story. After all, in this story only the yellow brick road leads to a heart, courage, a brain (interpreted as knowledge or common sense), the wizard, and a way home.
Often, it is tempting to take the easy way out of a situation. Sometimes, it doesn’t even seem as if there is an easy way, because there isn’t! Yet, we’re always searching for one. As stated in James 1:2-4: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
That is the yellow brick road. It’s often full of uncertainty, and trial. Through trials and tribulations though, we grow and learn. And boy, oh boy, does it require patience. Do you find it true, that when things aren’t easy in your life, you often see God’s grace more clearly than when everything seems fine? It’s not because His grace isn’t the same in both good times and bad; it’s because He will use those trials to grow us, and to show His glory to us. If we don’t ever suffer, we don’t grow. If we didn’t experience the bad days, we’d never recognize the good ones. Oppositely, if we don’t see God as we go through trials, it’s often because we find ourselves trying everything we can to fix the situation, before finally turning to Him. It took God’s people 40 years to get out of the wilderness because of that very reason, and the same can happen to us on this yellow brick road!
In Matthew 7:13-14, we are told, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
If we take the easy route, we can quickly become consumed with what is convenient. This breeds impatience and selfishness, and pushing others to the side for our own comfort regardless of the ultimate cost. Eventually we come to a narrow gate, and can’t fit through it. Pride and selfishness and self-worship can bloat one’s spirit to the point that it won’t fit through the gate….because there is no room in the Kingdom for such things. You find there was nothing good behind the curtain at the end of this red brick road, and as you reached its end, you realized you had run out of resources, are alone, and have lost your chance to get back home. It seemed like easy street, but took you to a bad place.
Today, be thankful for the road God has provided for you, for surely there is a purpose. While there will be uncertainty and trials, we can be certain that God is with us, and that He will provide a way. At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy found the wizard behind the curtain. For us, we find God: but the curtain has been torn. Thank God! Thank Him for the great things He has done, and for the great things that haven’t happened yet. They will happen. You will go through valleys on this yellow brick road, but at the end, you will find that even through all of your hardship, there’s a gate you’ll fit through, leading to a house with many rooms, one prepared for you, by our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ.