I recently watched The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's (Veggie Tales) for the first time, which is where I think this whole analogy first came from. Life and the struggles that can suddenly come flying our way has been on my mind lately, and the more I thought about it, the more the Wizard of Oz was a good parallel.
You see, we often set out on a grand adventure, following the yellow brick road and trusting that it will lead us to our dreams. We really don't know where the road is going, and we have no idea what types of terrain it will go over or areas it will pass through. We simply know that it's somehow going to lead us to where we want to go.
The road stretches out before us, and for a while the journey seems to be going just great. We think we've got it all figured out and fulfilling our plans. And then this happens.
Out of nowhere we're grabbed trees that start throwing apples at us. A green, evil witch shows up and tries to kill us. We get lost in a field of poppies and almost die. Life throws us a curve ball that we weren't expecting and we are left trying to figure out how to deal with it. Sometimes, we make it past the bump in the road and find our way to the Emerald City. When we get there, it may be that it was all we dreamed of. At other times, we finally arrive only to discover that what we thought was a great plan is really a humbug hiding behind a curtain.
The hardest part is that we thought we knew for sure where that yellow brick road was leading. We asked and we listened and we were confident that that was the direction we were supposed to go. Then it turns out we were headed the wrong way. And sometimes, God lets us go the wrong way. We were confident that we were going where God wanted us to go, because He did want us to go there. It's just that at the end of the road lies something much different from what we were expecting.
Then comes the painful process of figuring out what we are supposed to do next. Quite often, it involves going into a dark forest full of flying monkeys and encountering a wicked witch or two that needs to be overcome. It's hard, and it's lonely, and it's dark. It's easy to get frustrated and become tempted to give up.
When that happens though, we need to remember that it's always darkest before the dawn. We might have to melt a witch before we can get back to Kansas. The point is though, that at some point we will get home. We'll figure out where it is we're supposed to be and then we can click our heels until we get there.
We can't know where exactly the yellow brick road is going before we get there, yet once we're there, we'll realize that it's exactly where we need to be. We may not understand why we had to go down the wrong road or go through the things we went through, but it will become clear that God was leading us all along.