[I am] walking a new path–and yet an old path. It was offered [me] long ago, but [I was] not ready to receive it.
I was offered a chance for Recovery over a decade ago, and I half-heartedly took that chance, got a little better, and then walked away. What kind of person would I be today had I stuck with recovery and worked my program for a decade? I am realizing now that I simply wasn’t ready for the kind of growth with which Father is gifting me right now, maybe because I wasn’t yet willing to put in the hard work.
What path are you walking now that you refused to walk 5, 10, 20, or more years ago? Sobriety? Recovery? Restored relationships? Life with Christ? Something else?
In these intervening years [I] have wandered far from that path–sometimes very near the pit of destruction. Only [God’s] grace and Fatherly hand kept [me] back.
I’ve heard it called “toe-dangling” – that silly practice of dancing right up close to the steep cliff of willful sin and dangling one’s toes over the edge. I feel myself getting angry, yet I refuse to remove myself from the situation. I need to be a better steward, yet I hang out at the mall or online shops. I want to avoid sexual sin, yet I place myself in situations that make it difficult to resist.
What destruction have you tiptoed near in the past? From what danger has Father pulled you? What enemies has he blocked from your path?
The many crooks and turns in [my] pilgrimage were the results of these two forces–[my] blindness and [Father’s] grace.
I look back on my life so far, and I can clearly see how blind I was. It’s as if I’m lost in a cornfield grown over my head, and I’m walking and walking and walking, but cannot see my way through. Meanwhile, my Father is in a helicopter directly above me, using a megaphone to guide me through, and I am ignoring him. Does that make any sense?
Father will make my way straight if I follow him. The times my path has veered sharply to the right or left have been times when I willfully refused to follow his lead. My path, so far, has been oh so very crooked!
Remember, . . . child [of God], that [Father is] afflicted in the affliction of [His] children, and [He does] not willingly cause grief to those [He] love[s]. Yet [He uses] the grief and the affliction for [His] purposes.
Oftentimes I am grieved by circumstances I created for myself, consequences of my misbehavior. See my crooked path, above! Other times, however, living in a fallen world is enough to provide great sadness in our lives. Loved ones become ill or die, people hurt other people, natural disasters wreak havoc.
What grieves you today? Know that Father is sad when you’re sad; he does not wish you to be overwhelmed with grief. He promises that one day, “He will wipe every tear from [your] eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” . . (Rev. 21:4). In the meantime, He will comfort you in your pain, and simultaneously use your affliction for his glory and the good of others, so your grief will not be in vain. Grief still hurts, but Father holds you tightly through it.
But it is [His] will that [I] walk this path. Fear not. It is a good path and [He is my] protection in it. [Has He] not proven that through these long years? [He] will bless [me] and make [me] a blessing. Leave that to [Him]. That is [His] promise. ~Echoes of Eternity, Pages 103-104, May Eighteenth
Father, I want to walk your straight path, designed from above, in the helicopter, rather than my own blind, crooked, off-course, hopeless path. I am safe and content when I have the good sense to stay on your path. Amen.
This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls. ~Jeremiah 6:16