noun: way of life, conduct, or thought; route or course
May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God’s love and Christ’s endurance.
2 Thessalonians 3:5
In the Pacific Northwest, we love to hike. It’s exhilarating. We hike trails that lead through old forests, along rivers, or through alpine meadows bursting with wildflowers. We hike to lakes, beaches, lookouts, or mountaintops. The views are magnificent.
Hiking can be relaxing and fun or challenging and exhausting. The important thing is to stay on the designated trails, though. It would be dangerous to try to reach the end of the hike without following the path designed for hikers.
It’s the same when we follow God. We want to experience the reward, the destination of heaven with him at the end of our lives. But we need to stay on the right path.
I used to be so scared about this. I thought this path he had made for me was so narrow, so rigid that if I took a wrong turn, I would be lost forever. If I went the wrong way, I wouldn’t get to go any further. Still, the path sometimes seemed confining and restrictive… and I accidentally (or maybe on purpose) wandered off. Several times.
And here’s what I discovered as I tripped and struggled along the unstable ground and slippery places:
The path of God’s love is beautiful, with unimaginable surprises around every corner. He walks with us every step of the way, delighted to lead us and teach us and share with us his companionship and grace. During the times I wandered off, when I tried to make my own trails, I missed out on experiencing these joys.
The path of Christ’s endurance isn’t all flowers and light, though. There are some really tough parts. We get tested; we become scared; we grow weary. Sometimes it feels like we aren’t going to make it. We have to depend on his strength to keep going and persevere to the end of the trail. We can’t do it by ourselves.
Most importantly, Jesus doesn’t give up on us. No matter how far away we wander, he keeps his eye on us. He always knows where we are. He cares about us deeply and wants us to find our true freedom in him, not in running away.
And he is always holding out his hand to help us back.
Invite Him In
If you are feeling lost, reach out for God’s hand. He will help you back to the path of his love and endurance. It’s not as narrow as you think. Jesus makes space for you to experience his grace, his strength, and the glorious destination of eternal life with him. He will be with you every step of the way.
Dear Jesus, please take me by the hand and lead me. I want to walk with you on the path of your merciful love and faithful endurance. Thank you for bringing me back, no matter how many times I try to go my own way