Thursday, December 8, 2011
Just Thinking: Walking the lighted path through the darkness
Over and over in the Bible you will find references to walking on a path lit by the Lord in order to avoid falling into the darkness. Those of you who are Christians will understand this; those who are not won't.
I think all of us have experienced the darkness around us. Depression is one form of darkness. Sorrow over divorce or relationship breakups, the death of someone we love, or even missing someone who is too far away are also forms of darkness.
Hunger and disease, drug or alcohol addiction, debilitating injuries or birth defects--more darknesses.
How can we find the Light?
It sounds easy--just turn your life over to God. Ask Him to come into your heart and sweep it clean. Not justs pieces of it, but the whole thing. Jesus is a lot smarter than any of us are or ever will be. He knows what's best for you way better than you do. But like I said, it only sounds easy.
There are pieces of our own paths that we want to keep hold of, aren't there? Let me tell you from past experience, you can't walk on two paths at the same time. Trust me, I've tried.
There's another place in the Bible that says the path and gate to destruction are broad, Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
How do you find that narrow, nearly invisible, lighted path to get out of the darkness and through the narrow gate?
I'm about to say a word that many folks consider almost a swear word: "Submission." Jesus never said His path would be easy, and submission is one of those really difficult things to do. But if you will submit to His will, I can firmly guarantee you, your life will go better.
You might be miraculously delivered or healed--but what if you aren't? What if the way is hard? Are you still willing to follow Him?
Why do Christians have an easier time getting back on the path? Maybe it's that Christians know there is a lighted path and that we can get back on it. We don't have to keep stumbling along in the dark, knocking each other down in the same darkness.
God's path for each of us is a little different. He will not lead us onto a path that is wrong for us. The ticket is in listening (not just talking when we're praying but also listening), in getting to know Him better (read the Bible, hang around people to are close to Him), in following Him no matter where (even outside our comfort zone).
The reward we get for following Jesus is not usually monetary; it might not be to good health, it might even be into dangerous situations. But--wherever we go with Him, He will provide whatever we need to get to the journey's goals. And He will be there with us all the way, holding not only our hands but also the lamp that lights our paths through the darkness.