“Where the rubber meets the road” is a common English idiom. Literally, the phrase refers to when a tire of a vehicle touches pavement. I believe the saying came from an add campaign for a tire company. The tire company was selling the idea that where it really counted was where the rubber (tire) met the road (pavement) and consumers should choose their brand.
Today, the idiom is used as an analogy for an important moment in one’s life that requires skill, tenacity, focus and smart choices. If one were to say, “This is where the rubber meets the road,” they are saying “This is the moment of truth” or “This is where it really counts” or “This is where it matters most”.
In the spiritual sense of the phrase, many might think that their shining moment of “where it really counted” was when they first ‘believed’. Many refer to this moment as when they were ‘saved’. The moment when they realized and confessed they were sinners, accepted Yeshua as their atoning sacrifice and received the indwelling of G-d’s Holy Spirit.
Obviously, this is a pivotal “step”. I call it a pivotal step because it is the moment when we are turned in the right direction. When Yeshua walked the earth and healed people, He would heal them and THEN say “Go and sin no more.”
So I propose to you all that where the rubber really meets the road…where it really counts… where those moments of truth really shine…are when we truly and whole-heartedly trust in the LORD. Trust comes AFTER we accept Him into our lives.
But what does ‘trust’ mean?
We know that each word in the Hebrew has its own meaning and depth. But when we find the English word ‘trust’ in the Hebrew Scriptures, it could be a translation of quite a few different Hebrew words. Therefore, the unique characteristic of each word is lost. We are left with a word that has no action and nothing concrete to help us internalize what exactly it is telling us. How can we apply it to our lives if we don’t’ understand? Again I ask, what does trust mean?
The word we will look at in this article is galal. (Letters: gimmel-lamed-lamed). In the Hebrew, galal literally means ‘to roll’. For example:
Genesis 29:8 (KJV)
And they said, we cannot until all the flocks be gathered together and till they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.
Among many other places where galal is accurately translated as roll, we also find it translated as ‘commit’.
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3 (KJV)
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalms 37:5 (KJV)
King Solomon is saying “Roll your works unto the LORD!” King David is saying “Roll your way unto the LORD!” The action of rolling is easy to relate to.
So when we start rolling and the rubber meets the road….are we rolling onto the LORD?
Are we rolling all of our works…and all of our ways….onto Him? Or do we find ourselves looking at the LORD more as a rest stop? A place to pull over and get refreshments, fill up the gas tank and stretch our legs. Are we relying on Him for everything or just to help us when our man-made maps get us lost?
I ask these questions because it seems that until we truly roll onto the LORD, we will not be able to have that close, intimate relationship with Him that we claim to desire.
I heard a Messianic Rabbi from Israel years ago who put a great twist on this dynamic. His point was this: Get rid of all your baggage. Get rid of all those things that you carry around with you that keep you from living and serving in truth, because you can’t “roll” if it’s all hanging on you.
You can’t roll if you allow work or family or fear or health or finances to weigh you down. You can’t roll if you still feel that you are the one in control.
I like to picture it as a child. My grandparents owned a dairy farm in Upstate New York. My cousins and I used to go to the top of the hill in the back pasture, lie down and then see who could roll down the hill the farthest (there’s not a lot to do on a farm for entertainment). When you roll down a hill, there is no control. And there is no guarantee that you won’t roll across a hidden rock sticking up through the grass…or a stick…or a cow patty (yuck, that was the worst)….
But aside from the occasional scrapes and bruises (or the need for a water hose)…my cousins and I survived…and we rolled ourselves down that hill with no worries.
Roll it all onto the LORD and HE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT! He will take care of it in His own way and in His own timing. And although He might not take care of it the way we would prefer…if we have truly rolled it onto Him, we should have no worries. We should have no stress. We should have no anxiety. We should have no fear.
If galal means ‘to roll’… why do the translators define it as trust in Psalms 22:8 (KJV)? This is the only time that galal is even translated as trust, but it is in such an important place!
He trusted (rolled) on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
Who is the ‘he’ in this Psalm? Yeshua!
1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 “He trusted (rolled) on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him”
Verse markers, though they make studying a bit more convenient, also can completely break the stride of what the writer is writing. Let’s remove the verse number 8…and read it all as verse 7.
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He rolled on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.”
King David is writing what was still to come; Yeshua’s death. Those people…the “all that saw him and were laughing”… described Yeshua as someone who ‘rolled’ onto the LORD. They were mocking Him, but even in their mockery they recognized that He rolled His works and His way onto HaShem. The accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John testify to this truth. Yeshua did indeed roll everything onto His Father. The Plan, the Glory, the Testing, the Death and the Resurrection…all of it He rolled onto the Father.
And in Matthew 27 we find the fulfillment of Psalm 22…verse 8.
Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”
The Greek for trusted here is the word pleitho, which means to listen to, obey, yield to and comply with. All of that rolled up into one word (pardon the pun). If we roll our works and our ways unto the LORD, as Yeshua did, we will be listening to, obeying, yielding and complying with all that HaShem speaks, commands and puts in our path.
And if our hearts are willing, we will apply the lessons that He teaches us and be refined in His fire. He is a loving, faithful Father who knows what is best for us whether we do or not. And He wants to have that same close and intimate relationship with us.
It takes strength to roll everything onto the LORD. Strength to let go of control. Strength to be firm in what we can’t see. Strength to deny the world and its ways. And strength to endure. But if we are strong, we have a promise:
Be strong and He will make your heart stronger, all you who hope in HaShem. Psalm 31:29
Author: Jennifer Ross