There is a beautiful river walk close to our home, a walk that leads us beside a beautiful river bursting with life. With matures trees lining it, wild flowers flourishing on the bank and the water teeming with fish that keep the local fishermen and wildlife happy; the river is a place which sustains life.
On a recent walk I wondered why we rarely meet anyone on this particular river bank. I was walking hand in hand with my son and I realised that the answer was very simple – it was a very narrow and rough path that was hard to stay on. You can’t move far off the path before you start to stumble on the hidden ground that is uneven, rocky and can be loose enough to fall into the river beneath your feet.
This Scripture reminds us that this is the kind of pathway we must travel in the Kingdom of God. Life is there, in all its abundance, joy and pleasure but the way is narrow and it doesn’t take much movement from the path to find that you’re stumbling through the hidden dangers beyond it.
As I continued I realised Kyle and I had to walk very close to each other to stay safely on the narrow path together. I was aware of myself commenting on impending obstacles and holding more tightly to his hand as we approached any particularly difficult part. “Mind the hole, Kyle. Watch the tree branch. Oh, this bit is very narrow, hold tightly.”
Similarly, our walk with Jesus must be a close walk. If we try to continue our walk without holding on to Jesus, through the easier times as well as the hard times, we will find ourselves drifting to the wider but more dangerous way. Even if we try to go down the path alone – walking ahead of or behind Jesus, it’s easy to stumble and we need His guiding voice and strong hand to catch us if we do fall.
I’m reminded of that old hymn, ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee!’ It’s in that intimacy that well find our safety and protection.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to walk closely with You on my daily pilgrimage. I want to stay on the narrow path with You, so I can enjoy the abundance and fullness of life that You’ve given to me. Call me when You see me wandering off the path, so I may return to Your safety once more. Amen.
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