What pathway are you on right now? What is your trail like? Is it full of poison ivy? Are you tripping on broken sticks? Is there a fork on your trail and you don’t know which one to take? Are there puddles too big to jump over or mud so deep your just plain ol’ stuck?
Maybe your pathway is beautiful, full of joy and no worries. You feel all is well and perfect.
About 10 years ago, a ministry came into our community helping financially troubled families who were living on the streets or in their cars. This ministry was wonderful as it allowed the days for children to play or attend a local school and parents to find jobs and homes. In the evenings, the families would go to a church to be fed and loved and have a place to sleep along with a big dinner and breakfast. The ministry is called New Pathways. What a perfect name! Individuals whose pathways somehow got goofed up led wrong or made wrong choices which allowed for a new beginning, new start, new pathway.
In our sessions this year, pathways are our focus word we use as a foundation to their time with the horses on the ranch. So far it has opened many conversations and openness I haven’t really experienced before.
I love how the Lord leads me to certain things such as words like this, verses, passages of scripture, and reminders of my own stories or experiences.
Have you ever stopped to look down a road? A trail? A sidewalk? An aisle? In every step we take throughout a day, we are always on a pathway. If the pathway we are on is causing pain in some way in our life or we know is not a path the Lord would want us on, we must somehow make a new one. We must at that point make a choice to choose a pathway that may not be easier but give us freedom. It may be free from sin. It may be freedom from conflict. It may be freedom from addiction. Whatever pathway you’re on, your Savior is longing for you to find a new one!
At times I find the pathway I am on is safe and easy as I know it so well. But the Lord is asking me to try a new pathway to stretch my journey. He desires for me to explore and learn and at that time I will have to depend on Him more and more because I don’t know the path well. That’s the pathway I am on right now. This ministry is constantly challenging in the way the Lord is bringing in new ideas and opportunities. They are like weeds to pull or brush to move to clear the trail. Sometimes I want to turn around and go back on the pathway that I knew before. A pathway where I knew every area that is dangerous or could “trip” me up. A path or trail that didn’t cost me so much hard work!
In this new pathway, I have no idea what’s ahead. I haven’t either been on it before or have and it caused pain somewhere along the way. I surely don’t want to go through it again. YET, my heavenly Father wants me to try because He has a new plan within the new pathway. I must trust Him, belief, and ultimately obey.
By obedience, I am choosing to say no to self. Choosing His ideas, not mine. Simply, surrendering my will.
One of my favorite verses I have memorized, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding but in ALL ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your path straight. “ Proverbs 3:5- HE does…every time I am obedient.
My salvation verse, “Your word is the lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps. 119:105 By READING the bible every day, not just short devotions or commentary from others but truly reading, absorbing, and talking to the Lord, HE will direct my path for the day and days to come. Again, obedience and choosing the path of being still, alone with my Jesus.
Pathways offer hope. They offer second chances. They open new opportunities. New pathways draw you closer to your Redeemer who is molding your character to be more and more like Him.
Possibly, you may not be on the path with Jesus. You may be walking alone. Afraid, lonely, or simply unhappy. Will you trust in a Savior who promises to walk with you? He promises “He will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you always.” That is the best part of choosing the path with Christ!
So what pathway are you on? What trail will you take? Will you choose today to follow HIS lead and walk the trail together no matter what it may bring you?
Enjoy your ride or walk…on your NEW pathway!
Love deeper, talk sweeter along your journey,
In the midst of going through a really difficult time, have you ever had anyone tell you “thank God for this situation”? Or “God has a purpose for your suffering right now.”
Have you in return wanted to just belt them one? Or simply be just so angry you walk away and think to yourself, “they have no idea what I am going through.”
I can tell you I have been on both sides. I know the feeling of going through something so difficult I thought my world was falling apart. And at that moment, it seems NOTHING anyone says will comfort me.
But I also have been with people suffering through tough things and in the right timing, I have stated the above. WHY? How can I be so thoughtless? On the contrary, it is bringing someone to the place that they are not in control and to bring them to the place of Jesus who IS.
The Bible tells us, “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose for them. “ Romans 8:28
When looking at this verse and going through trials in our lives, it is important to fall back on the word of the Lord. NOW, if someone I knew was not a follower of Jesus Christ, I would not share such thoughts at that time. They simply would not understand. But for one who has given their heart to Jesus, it is in times of trials we see that God does have a purpose for everything that HE allows.
We, of course, cannot see it at the time. That is where faith comes in. Hebrews 11:1, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for, it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” We have NO idea what God is up to and all we can fall back on is FAITH…because that is what HE tells us to do and we wait and HOPE.
The Lord promises, Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in HIM.” Psalm 34:8
Do you see that? WE who hang onto to Jesus during a trial are called BLESSED! He is good no matter what. So, therefore, now here is the hard part…GIVE THANKS!
Give thanks for this incredible trial! Are you nuts?
Let’s go back to what the Lord says, “give thanks to the Lord for HE is good.” Psalm 136:1
Imagine your in the hospital room with your dying child and your head is bowed, tears flowing, rocking yourself in sadness, and your saying out loud:
“I am giving thanks to you Oh Lord, for YOU alone are good. You alone are Master; You alone are the Great Physician. I give this child to you. Thank you for allowing this as I know you will cause all things to work together for Your good. I will trust in you alone and by faith will wait on You.”
Praying aloud, giving God the glory in the trial will give you peace as you place it all in HIS hands.
Is it easy? We are not promised easy on this side of heaven.
Will all things go away in that trial? Probably not.
Will your faith be stronger? Mine was.
Will you look back on the trial and see God’s GOODNESS and FAITHFULNESS? I did!
Can you share with someone else that same trial you went through to help him or she hold on during their trial? They too will TASTE AND SEE that HE is good!
I believe we all go through trials to share with others who face trials that God fulfills all His promises. It sometimes takes your story and sharing it with another for that person to get through their trial. Don’t be afraid to share.
So many are hurting and need to hear that God is GOOD even when they can’t see it!
God’s blessings upon you.
Love deeper, talk sweeter and share God’s love and HOPE!