…in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
My husband and I enjoy hiking. On Saturday mornings when I don’t go into work, we drive to Piestewa Park and hike on one of the many scenic routes that Arizona has to offer. On a recent, non-working, Saturday, I attempted to wake up my college age daughter to go with us. She was very comfortable in her bed so it was just my husband and me. My daughter’s parting words to me…”don’t be a whiner baby.” In other words, enjoy yourself and stop complaining about the climb. All throughout the hike my daughter’s words echoed in my brain. I maintained a positive attitude and also did not whine. Yes, I had to stop and catch my breath or allow my legs a small reprieve, but I did not whine. While on the most challenging portion of the hike, I noticed something. My husband would lead the way and encourage me to follow him. He was able to navigate the easier ways to climb, with the more sturdy footholds and less chance to slide or fall. Not once did he complain or use disparaging words to try to “motivate” me. He was just there with his hand out to me in assistance when the climb was steep. If he heard rocks begin to slip underneath me his hand would extend and he would grab me. When we reached the peak of our climb, we stopped for an extended water and rest break. Looking around at God’s Creation, I realized all the physical exertion and shortness of breath had been worth it. We had persevered and eventually conquered. It was an amazing feeling. I even heard the Rocky victory theme in my head.
That’s when it dawned on me. It is this way with God. He choses which path He has for us. He attempts to lead us down the path He has for us and what do we do, we complain. We whine when it gets difficult and perhaps we even fight Him every step of the way. He is there with His hand outstretched waiting for us to take ahold of it so He can guide and direct us. He keeps us on the sturdy path, we often choose the path that looks easier but may be misleading. Our own paths are created by sinners. God’s path is created from perfection. On our road the dirt and rocks we tread upon are built from our own desires and we are a selfish people. We do not see what lies ahead. Although God’s path may be rock filled, we may slip, we may fall, He is there with us. He sees what’s ahead. He consistently reaches out His Hand and will catch us when we fall and guide us through the steep climbs and narrow passageways.
Where is He directing you? What path has He laid out before you? Are you going down your own path or His? It may be time for you to change directions and allow God to lead. His ways may not be our own, however, the best place for you to be is in the Will of God! Stop complaining and enjoy the view!
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.~Matthew 11:28
When my son was very young I was meeting some of my friends at the gym so we could start working out. I noticed one of my friends still in her car on the phone so I decided I would stay in my car until she was done. It was cold and I had forgotten my sweater. As my 4-year-old son and I were waiting, I said to him “Hey buddy, can you put your jacket on?” He said “sure” and started to put on his coat. Pretty soon I heard “ I need a little help here.” From where I was sitting and where he was standing, I couldn’t reach him. I kept asking him to come closer to me, but he was being defiant and refused to budge. Eventually, he started jumping around in frustration. In my best “Mommy” voice I told him “if you come over here, I can help you.” That got his attention. He walked over to me, smiled, and we worked together and got his coat on. God desires the same thing from us. He wants to help us but we have to come to Him first. Jesus states this in John Chapter 5 Verse 24 when He says “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (NIV) Read that a couple of times. Jesus is promising us eternal life. We won’t be condemned. We won’t suffer the Judgment. We will live forever with Him. But there is a condition to that promise. We must BELIEVE. Got that? We must believe. For some, perhaps even you, that is the hard part. Believing in something we can’t touch or visibly witness with our own eyes. What do you believe? Do you believe that Jesus is God’s one and only Son? Or do you believe that Jesus was a nice man, a prophet, a teacher but not the Son of God? If you are not sure what you believe, I encourage you to do some soul searching. Now is the time. We are living in the last days. Jesus is coming back soon. I know where I’m going, do you know where you’re going? Jesus states in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” No one gets to Heaven (The Father) without belief in Jesus Christ. Do you want to be sure of eternal life, praising and worshiping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? If you do, then pray this simple prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you now, just as I am, flaws and all. Father forgive me for my sins, I lay them at your feet. I believe in your Son Jesus Christ. I believe you sent Him to die on the Cross for me. I give my life to you right here, right now. Send your Holy Spirit to live in me. Thank you Father. In Jesus Name, Amen. If you prayed this prayer, I encourage you to call someone, a Pastor, a Deacon, a Christian friend. Someone you can talk to about this destiny-changing decision you just made. Thank you for allowing me to share my heart with you.