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Seeds of the Kingdom

Walking Along God’s Path

by Richard Griffiths

19 November 2022

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Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Psalm 119:35, NIV

Sue and I love walking. It’s very rare that we don’t get out for a good, brisk walk at some point during the day. Sometimes we use a familiar route, sometimes we try somewhere new. We tried a new one yesterday. It was easy to start with and clearly waymarked. We got to a farm and picked our way through the inevitable muddy puddles. As we got higher, the ground got more and more boggy. At one point, I put my foot into a hole and got a bootful of muddy water. We were getting a bit fed up with bog! We turned off on to a path that would take us back to the start. It was fine to begin with, but then we encountered a stream that was too full to cross, even using the stepping stones. In the end, we had to walk back along a couple of miles of road.

Mud, boggy ground, a wet boot, a stream we couldn’t cross and a couple of miles of tedious road. But we’d loved it. The views had been wonderful. We’d begun to understand the layout of an area that we’d driven through before but never really connected with. We felt well-exercised and invigorated, and, to cap it all, as we drove home, a very cloudy day ended with a glorious sunset, enhanced by a huge, double rainbow.

‘The path of God’s commands’ isn’t always easy. After a successful missionary journey, Paul and his team returned to the places where they had established churches, ‘strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God”, they said’ (Acts 14:22).

Actually, ‘The path of God’s commands’ is often difficult. We may find opposition and ridicule. We may battle with weaknesses, bad habits, and temptation. We may get fed up with what seems like endless bog.

But the rewards are amazing. For a start, we’re never alone. Jesus walks with us. And that means that He accompanies us through all ‘the boggy bits’. I bet He sometimes got a bootful of muddy water (or at least the Judean equivalent) during His earthly ministry. We’ll see things and make invaluable connections that we could never get any other way. And we always end up feeling spiritually ‘well-exercised and invigorated’. What’s more, God has a wonderful way of showing us spiritual realities of great beauty – like blazing sunsets and double rainbows.

Yes, the path of God’s commands may have its challenges, but it’s where we will find delight. And it won’t be just because of what we get out of it. It’ll be because of the One who walks with us.

Richard Griffiths When Richard retired from full-time Anglican ministry in Chichester in 2009, he and his wife, Sue, moved to Northumberland. He joined the ministry team at Ellel Grange in 2011, where he and Sue regularly ministered at healing retreats. They are now helping on the "Explore" team. They greatly enjoy walking in the beautiful Northumberland countryside and along the coast. Richard loves seeing God bringing people into a strong personal relationship with Him as their Father and the healing that comes with it.

 

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