Posted by: New in Every Way | December 6, 2012

Change of Scenery

Bright path∞   BIBLE JOTTINGS  ∞

I’ve hiked some trails since moving to Kentucky. First, I struck out on a trail at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary in search of the Kentucky River overlook. Then I walked one of the trails at the Arboretum. In both cases the trail map gave me no hints about the terrain any of the trails led through. And just staring a ways down a trail didn’t tell me much either.  How was I supposed to know whether it led through sunlit, flower-studded meadows or shaded, rocky slopes slick with fallen leaves? Or both? Only one way to know—walk the trail.

There’s a saying in Proverbs about a path:

18The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
 

Until recently, I had glossed right over the word “path” and thought the verse said that a righteous person’s life gets better and better.

I didn’t zero in on the word “path” until I read the next verse. (It’s always good to notice the context of a statement.)

19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble. (Proverbs 4:18-19 NIV).

Oh! Verse 19 talks about the environment the wicked are in. It is so dark, they can’t see where they’re going. Looking back at verse 18, I saw that it also was about the environment—or path—of the righteous.

That gave me a new understanding of verse 18. It doesn’t say the life of a righteous person automatically gets brighter and brighter. It says that the path the Lord puts us on when we come to him grows brighter the further we walk on it. Think of it this way—when you’re hiking, the scenery doesn’t change when you stay in one spot.

I became a follower of Christ when I was eleven. For years I stayed pretty much in the visitor’s center (so to speak), taking peeks at the path. Having the Lord in my life did make a significant difference, but I felt confused and defeated ’way too often. I must have been taking detours onto some other paths.

In my mid-thirties, I became thoroughly convinced that what I needed was to venture whole-heartedly onto the God-path. Immediately, I noticed something amazing. Even though my circumstances were still difficult, I woke up each day with confidence and anticipation. The insight and wisdom I now received caused regular improvements in the way I did things.

My life has gotten better and better. But it didn’t happen hanging around the beginning of the path. It happened when I picked up my walking stick and canteen and said, “I’m going to see it all.”

Making It Personal

  • Does the challenging call of Christ seem too much for you? He himself walks the path with you, seeing to it that you can handle each step.
  • So . . . what is the first forward step you personally know you can take?
  • If you have no desire for the changes and adventure of following Christ fully, ask him to give it to you. Can you guess how I know he will do that?  

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