It is often said that the life of a Christian is a “walk with God”. Once you step (fall, stumble, tiptoe, lean, leap) over the fence of unbelief, it becomes a journey. And a journey typically includes having a map because there is a destination.
Those of us who walk with the Lord certainly have a map with a destination, but the ways we get there are incredibly different. The path isn’t always gorgeously laid out with flowers and greenery on either side. Sometimes it looks like this
Or (yikes!) even this
Why? Why, when we are going through life difficulties, do we have to have paths that have thorns, or that go upward (where I have to exert energy…ugh), or that don’t even have a semblance of a path? Why would we follow someone blindly through a desert? Why would we take the road less traveled to get to someplace others tell us doesn’t even exist? Why put ourselves through emotional and physical turmoil like that?
I have an answer.
Because the God of the universe who did create everything (Colossians 1:16) and who does have crazy paths to follow (2 Corinthians 5:7) LOVES you incredibly. Do you believe that?
He loves you so much He sent His son to die (John 3:16), but also because He knows there are changing terrains (Deuteronomy 5:33), paths that look daunting, days that are overwhelming, kids that are screaming, conversations that are worth having, lies that are worth rebuking, people worth loving, and hearts worth stretching. Psalm 119:133 is a cry to keep our steps steady. Why? Because the Lord knows that LIFE will overwhelm us and create a path that is unstable.
I do believe that God does not change (Scripture confirms this in Malachi 3:6 when He is speaking about his nature). However, since I’ve been walking with Him, learning His ways and have felt Him softening my heart, I’ve learned that He is extremely creative and ultimately lovely. His character doesn’t change, but His methods for seeking me (us) will and does.
One aspect of the Father that I can resonate with (and have incredible admiration for) is an adventuresome, loving Father who is constantly looking back to take my hand and show me something wonderful.
My earthly father did that a lot when I was younger. My dad would pack us in the little red Chevette (all five of us, Mom too) and my two siblings and I would do creek walks, flip over rocks to look for crayfish and go on hikes until our legs burned with pain. All because Dad wanted to show us something amazing! Sure, Dad could’ve gone and jogged the trail ahead of us, and came home and told us the story about what he saw/experienced, but it was worth more to him to have us experience it with him! And I’ve learned our Heavenly Father is like that too.
Walking alongside someone also gives time to have conversations. Have you ever gone on a walk with someone else and remained silent the entire time? Doing physical activity together like walking, is a way of sharing hearts and opening up about something in life or an opinion. Many of the times that I spent walking with my parents gave them opportunities to talk and share things with me, and I in turn would share my opinion with where I was at that time. It is a relational activity. So walking provides the Lord a place of communication with us. When we communicate how much we hate anything that goes uphill to Him, it allows Him the opportunity to reach a hand out to help us up. It builds dependence.
Trusting in Jesus, who is unseen, is a step of faith altogether. We choose to believe in Someone who chooses to remain hidden to the outside world. He manifests Himself in many things to affirm He is with us, and He reveals Himself in ways that are not tangible. Since Jesus ascended to Heaven, He has sent the Holy Spirit to be with us, to guide us, to lead us, to be our “true north” and it is up to us to seek Him out. When we accepted Jesus and made Him Lord of our lives, we accepted the call to be Jesus’ hands and feet and show the world who HE really is.
My journey with the Lord has changed, grown, stretched incredibly over the last year, and my walk has mirrored each of the paths above.
I’ve learned He is faithful.
I’ve learned He is silent for a time.
I’ve learned He is loving during the wait.
I’ve learned He has a plan that is the best for me, and it’s worth waiting for.
I’ve learned I can’t do everything on my own, which is what sent me to Him in the first place.
I’ve learned that sometimes He speaks and I need to drown everything out to hear Him because I’ve let too much of the world in.
I’ve learned He is hope.
He created me (and you) with unique, special gifting and He will share with me (and you) when the time is right to reveal them. He longs to be close to us. He desires the relationship. He loves when you pray because He hears from your mouth and heart where you are, even though He already knows. He created you with a desire to be known, and He knows you best!
He continues to reach out His hand to help us up those tough hills. He continues to wrap Himself around us through the thorny paths. He makes a way when the path isn’t even a path. He CAN be trusted.
My journey is changing, and my new path is being revealed. I will share more as I am able. But it’s worth the wait, as long as I am holding His hand, walking alongside Him and trusting what He is doing. Stay steadfast, dear ones!