The road sign outside my hotel said, “Road Narrows,” and made me think immediately of a quotation that has had a profound impact on my life.
“Life narrows down, and crisis comes. Suddenly, only one thing matters, and there, in the narrow place stands Jesus.”
So Rev. Arnold Kuntz wrote in “Devotions for the Chronologically Gifted” (CPH, 1999; 46). I quote it often and always give Dr. Kuntz credit. Earlier this year his life narrowed and he was called to his eternal home.
Life is ever-expanding when we’re young. Our dreams and hopes for the future, knowing for sure that we’re going to change the world… I see it all the time in our seminarians and thank God for it. But day-by-day we grow older and the narrowing begins. It may be health; you’re more and more confined. It may be employment, the work machine is grinding you down. It may be financial, more bills than money and you don’t know where to turn. It may be in relationships, for whatever reason you’re not feeling the love. Watching faces as I preach, I see all eyes on me when I quote the narrowing. People get it.
“And suddenly only one thing matters.” “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26).
Hymn-writer Martin Schalling put it this way. “And should my heart for sorrow break, my trust in Thee can nothing shake. Thou art the portion I have sought; Thy precious blood my soul has bought. Lord Jesus Christ, my God and Lord, my God and Lord, Forsake me not! I trust Thy Word” (Lutheran Service Book, 708, 1).