In a yellowed article from the 1881 collection of The Sailor’s Magazine, I came across this quote: “Christians are but travelers,—Jesus was the way-maker. They but pathfinders,—He the path itself…. While others played, he worked. While they slept, he prayed. While they scorned, he blessed.”1
In the world of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, a waymaker was the person responsible for creating a road and keeping it in good repair for royal travels. If Queen Elizabeth I, for example, wanted to travel from London to Hampshire, the waymaker and his team would prepare the roads to be as smooth as possible. If she wanted to ride in the meadows, they would mow the grass and prepare a way for her carriage to travel with as few bumps as they could manage.
It’s an old profession. Hundreds of years before Christ, Isaiah 40:3 said: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’”
We should be aware of the headlines, but only God should shape our perspective and set our attitude.
• Christ or the Bad News
• Christ and the Good News
Isaiah 42:16 says, “I will bring the blind by a way they do not know…. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight.”
And listen to Isaiah 43:16: “Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters.”
“Way Maker” is also a hit in the world of Christian music. It was written and recorded by Nigerian artist, Osinachi (Sinach) Kalu Okoro Egbu, who released it in 2015. Her music video, posted on YouTube, has more than 219 million views. “Way Maker” was voted Song of the Year at the fifty-first GMA Dove Awards, making her the first Nigerian Gospel artist to win the award. Multiple artists have since recorded the song.2
Here are some of the words:
I worship You, I worship You.
You are here working in this place;
I worship You, I worship You....
(You are) Way Maker, Miracle Worker,
Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness.
To focus on the convergence of world news with the Good News, we must ask ourselves this question: Who determines our mood each day—the newsmakers or the Way Maker? How many minutes a day do you listen to one or the other? We should be aware of the headlines, but only He should shape our perspective and set our attitude.
Christ or the Bad News
Let’s consider two groups of individuals in our world—the newsmakers and the newscasters. The first are men and women, usually in positions of power, whose actions or decisions shape (or misshape) our world. Many of them sincerely want to serve the public good; some are drunk with power and its privileges. They make the news for better or worse, and the newscasters bring us every detail.
Occasionally, we’re uplifted if an election goes our way, a ruling meets our approval, or a human interest story touches our heart. But the news of the day doesn’t tend to be uplifting. It’s like a recital of the signs of the times—“In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents… brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Standing above it all is the Lord Jesus Christ of eternity whose sovereign power is unthreatened by the rantings of evil. He is our Redeemer, our Protector, our Future, and our Way Maker.
Newsmakers of the day can bring stress, doubt, fear, and worry. He brings us peace, comfort, security, and happiness.
The newsmakers number in the hundreds of thousands. He is Himself the One and Only.
The newscasters are fallible, and we never know if we’re receiving the true story. His word is trustworthy and true, and it cannot be broken.
Newsmakers’ actions are temporary, and their influence is brief; but His dominion will never end, and His Kingdom will endure forever.
The newscasters are interrupted every fifteen minutes by commercial breaks selling medical prescriptions and health supplements. There is no disruption of the rule and reign of Jesus. The Way Maker is also the Great Physician, the Healer of the soul.
The newsmakers leave us disturbed; He gives us peace. They create conflict; He brings comfort. They lose their way; He is the way.
His input into our mind should be so much greater than theirs! We take notice of the newsmakers, but we take Him at His word. We take shelter in Him, and we take Him as our Lord and Savior.
Christ and the Good News
Let me remind you that newsmakers and newscasters were around in Bible times too. In 1 Samuel 4, Eli the high priest was sitting in suspense in Shiloh, wondering how the battle was raging against the Philistines, and a runner was sent with a report.
“The man who brought the news replied, ‘Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured’” (verse 17, NIV).
The news hit Eli so hard he fell backward off his chair, broke his neck, and died.
Throughout the Bible, the news of the day spread quickly. And, like today, it often hit people hard, causing distress. But Christ—the Way Maker—came with a different kind of message—the Good News.
Proverbs 15:30 says, “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones” (NIV). A few chapters later, we read, “Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land” (Proverbs 25:25, NIV).
Jesus came with Good News that brings joy to our hearts, health to our bones, and announcements from heaven that refresh us like cold water in the desert. Matthew 4:23 says, “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom” (NIV).
In Acts 5:42, the believers “never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah” (NIV).
I have good news from the Way Maker to you. Jesus will make a way for you when there seems to be no way. He knows the headlines of your day and the bulletins affecting your life. Bad news comes to us every day, and not just from the newscasters. Sometimes it’s the news that a friend was diagnosed with cancer, that a child failed a test, that a beloved pastor has resigned, or that an investment has lost money.
Remember your Way Maker! The Bible says:I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19, KJV, emphasis added.
When you pray, keep alert and be thankful. Be sure to pray that God will make a way.
Colossians 4:2-3, CEV, emphasis added.
The Lord will utterly… make a way to cross on foot.
Isaiah 11:15, NRSV, emphasis added.
You can trust God. He will not let you be tested more than you can stand. But when you are tested, He will also make a way out so that you can bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13, BECK, emphasis added.3
God is in control, and He will make a way! He is there with you, moving in your midst. He is working in this place.
And He is working for you, making a way for you in a world of bad news, making certain you can experience and share His Good News, even as we read in Psalm 112:6-7 in the New International Version:
Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
They will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
Their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
1The Sailor’s Magazine and Seamen’s Friend; and the Life Boat for the Year Ending December 1881, Vol LIII (New York: American Seamen’s Friend Society, 1881), 145.
2“Way Maker,” Wikipedia.
3Robert J. Morgan, The Red Sea Rules (Nashville, TN: W Publishing, 2014), xi-xii.
This article was adapted from an issue of Turning Points devotional magazine.