It would be really bad if I tripped and hurt something.
No sooner had the thought run through my mind then my ankle gave out and I fell to a knee. There was a moment of pause as I assessed the situation and realized nothing was truly hurt—maybe my pride, but nothing major.
It was one of those funny moments. I was alone on a hike, having walked ahead of my family to explore a little. Now here I was with my knee slammed into the dirt, my palms scratched and those behind none the wiser.
It was just me, the ground and God.
I let out a laugh and wondered, “Did that really just happen?”
My thoughts had more meaning to them then just idle worries. I can take a little bruising, but I was thinking of my upcoming trip to Europe—a trip with a backpack.
Which quickly translated means—I would need my legs, knees and ankles to be in proper working order for what I had planned.
Realizing I was lucky, I shook off the dirt and kept going, this time, more careful to avoid the twisted roots and tricky rocks decorating the sloped hill. I was focused and more prepared to see the dangers underfoot.
I think back on that moment now and wonder at how God can use even the simplest things to teach a lesson—if we would only listen. Too often I am guilty of not noticing His methods of teaching. My thoughts are on the things of this world and I’m too distracted to pay attention to what He wants me to see.
Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. –Psalm 119:105
Maybe you have already caught onto my meaning. It isn’t a revelation that overwhelms the mind and makes you think about the world in a different light, but maybe, just maybe, it will give you pause.
Have you ever wondered about how many worries you carry? Those deep-seated fears of what is to come.
We worry about what will happen throughout this year. About job situations, children, spouses, loneliness, singleness, marriage and so many other pressing matters upon our hearts. They become all we can see and our focus on the end goal is lost.
Each of these worries become roots in our lives. They are the stumbling blocks loitering near our feet just waiting for the moment we lose focus. We must look more closely at Psalm 119:105.
Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.
God has given us an answer to the worries that prey upon our minds. His Word.
Take a moment to envision a hill—a sloping knoll with stumps and rocks, gnarled roots and low hanging branches. Now see yourself standing there, looking down upon it all and someone tells you, “This is the way to go.”
You nod. Though the hill is tricky, it isn’t dangerous. It is simply going to take time to maneuver. Looking down at your feet, you take a deep breath and just as you are about to take a step, a blindfold is placed over your eyes.
You stop. No longer knowing where to go or what to do. Suddenly, those roots, rocks and branches seem like much larger obstacles.
There is an old memory I have of church camp where we played a very similar game. Two girls were partnered together, one was blindfolded and the other wasn’t. The girl who could see had to navigate their now blind partner through a series of obstacles with only their voice. The blindfolded girl could rely on nothing but the sound of her partner’s voice.
Now let’s go back to where we were, standing at the top of that tricky hill with the brambles and all sorts of nature-traps awaiting us. There we stand, completely blind to the world, our foot afraid to take a step forward. Will it land on good ground or bad ground? Will we fall? Or will we roll all the way down the hill?
What if in that moment a voice suddenly came out of the darkness, telling us it could see? Telling us it would guide us down this path? Would we listen?
I think we all can read this and say, “Yes, I would.”
Then why do we not listen as we wonder about our future?
Maybe instead of wondering what this year will hold, we should rejoice in what we know. We should celebrate the Word God has given us. For it is a light unto our path and a lamp to our feet.
God doesn’t promise to give us a clear and direct path, but rather the words we need to see where we are in the moment. He provides comfort in our times of need. Strength in our moments of weakness. Clarity when we are confused. Hope when it seems like nothing could ever be hopeful again.
His Word reveals the path. And He is the light—the voice leading us through the darkness.
My prayer this year is that I would listen better. That I would pause in those moments when fear grips my gut and threatens to take me down. That I would turn to God’s Word and to Him when the world grows dim and the darkness closes in.
Then, quite suddenly, all those roots and rocks won’t seem so tricky after all.
©2018 Women of Warren, Warren Baptist Church