We were recently in North Carolina on a family holiday. NC is famous for beautiful mountains, great hiking trails and incredible waterfalls. One particular hike to the top of a huge waterfall has stayed with me. The path was pretty strenuous on our `Floridian muscle-depleted legs’, but everyone set off sprightly, and full of the fun of being on holiday. It wasn’t long before we started to hear the sound of the waterfall in the distance, and this stirred us on – “soon we were going to be at the top”. So on we climbed… And on we climbed... And on we climbed… And on we climbed…
After what felt like hours we stopped at some rocks on the side of the path. We knew we were on the right path, and we could hear the waterfall getting louder, but, as the kids moaned and we all started to flake in the heat, Andy and I looked at each other with a mixture of despair and confusion – “where was the pesky waterfall???!!!!” How long should we keep going, thinking we were nearly at the top? Should we go back and give up after all this effort?
After a little rest, and much moaning, we decided, as the waterfall sounded so loud and close, that we should try to make it to the top. We hadn’t gone far when we saw some people coming from the opposite direction. We stopped them in the path and asked them how much further it was, and whether it was really worthwhile. With big grins they assured us they had felt exactly the same at this point in the path, and even though we still had a way to go, it was going to be SO worth it. “Keep going to the top” they said. “the view is incredible and the cool breeze will be just what you need”.
We kept going, we reached the top and it was AMAZING! In the beauty around us we forgot all about how difficult it had been, how tired, sweaty and thirsty we were. It was worth it all, and became one of the most treasured memories of our holiday.
At different times in our lives we encounter different paths the Lord has for us. They may be pathways of healing, paths of inner-growth, paths of faith and trusting God for the impossible, paths of making a stand and being a light in dark places – the list can go on and on – but whatever the path may be, one thing is for sure, there’s no guarantee it’s going to be easy! Sometimes we don’t even know where the path God has us on is going, or exactly what He’s doing, but we hear Him beckoning us to trust Him and to keep going day by day, step by step.
If you’re weary on your journey with the Lord today, or discouraged on the path that you believe the Lord has led you to - trusting, hoping, believing, standing on truth and simply being obedient – you aren’t alone! Just because the path may seem endless, or an uphill struggle, doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong or you’re walking the wrong path. The Bible never tells us that following the Lord will be easy. Neither does the Bible recount stories of men and women who walked easy pathways of endless bliss!
If the Lord has set you on this path, then, as you rest in His presence, you’ll know He’s beckoning you. If this is the way the Lord has for you, then all that you invest of hope and trust is secure – it’s secure in the very nature and character of God. The Lord knows what is best for all of us, and has many treasures of His heart to share with us. God doesn’t make mistakes, and as you persevere with your heart set only on Him, all that you will discover of the Lord is worth every tear and every moment of confusion and self-doubt. The treasures that God has for us in our lives don’t come easy or cheaply, but as you walk after Him you’ll see - the view is amazing and the breeze is exactly what you need!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to follow You with all my heart and all my life. I want to walk in Your paths and be guided by the sound of Your voice, even when it’s tough. Lord, the times I get weary and afraid, please will You draw close to me, and remind me of who You are, and Your hand on my life. Lord, please give me the courage, peace, strength, wisdom and tenacity I need to follow You in every area of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.