While walking with Jesus, I have been hurt, attacked, confused, and broken,
but never by Him.
The walk has been far from easy, but Jesus has been constantly gentle as He leads me along.
We were never given a promise that walking with our Lord would be an easy journey, nor that it would be the cure-all for the pains of the world.
We were promised, however, that He would never leave us nor forsake us. We were promised that the joy that awaits us at the end of our walk will far surpass anything we could hope to imagine. We were promised that His plan is good, and trusting Him is what this walk is all about.
While walking with Jesus, I have strayed from His side countless times to pursue beauties that lie along the path. Captivating roadside attractions have caught my heart and caused me to abandon His side, all for the temporary thrill of earthly entertainment. Time and time again I have forgotten His beauty as I’ve envied the beauty of others I’ve seen walking the path.
My eyes have turned from His face countless times, looking at others, looking at the wayside, and looking at the path itself.
Yet time and time again, He brings my eyes back to His. And every time I return to rest in His gaze, I am reminded that all other things I have laid my eyes upon pale in comparison to the glory of His presence. All other beauties become nothing. I rest in the assurance that He has not once taken His eyes off of me, despite the many times I took mine off of Him.
Looking at the path itself, I have seen glimpses of what is ahead, stopping me in my tracks as panic sets in. How will I make it? How will I get through? How can I do it? He gently replaces “I” with “we” and reminds me who He is.
The path has already been walked by Him. Because He already walked the path, He knows it intimately. While He did not clear away the path for me, He knows every hindrance intricately and fully. What I have not seen is how each step, He is equipping me for the next obstacle that He has foreseen.
And will He abandon as we approach each treacherous blockade? To think He will is to think so lowly of the One who leads me. He has seen what lies ahead, and He leads me to it so that He might let me cling to Him all the way through it.
In light of all the pains I feel along the way, He reassures me He will take each and every one away once we reach the end. While He chooses to take some of them upon Himself as we walk, He allows me to keep some. Sometimes He takes the heaviest ones for me. Other times, He lets me keep them on my shoulders as He holds me up. He does not take them all from me … all so that I might continue to trust His promise that our destination will be worth it as all will be lifted from my back.
He reminds me over and over that this walk is good for me. Every step makes our destination sweeter.
The way that He teaches me along this walk gives me reason to rejoice. He lets me make mistakes and learn from them. He lets me make choices and reap the consequences. He lets me wander and He lets me come back. He allows me to pick flowers along the path and He allows me to watch them wilt.
He teaches me by letting me experience the path and all that it holds. He wants me to learn; He wants me to grow. He wants my trust for Him to grow out of the rockiest parts of the path, for He knows this is a strong trust. The way He teaches me to trust Him is so gentle yet so rigorous. He lets me experience all things so that I might delight in experience Him at my side.
How often do I forget the One whom I’m walking with?
How much do I doubt that this walk it worth it?
Far too much.
He knows that I forget and He knows I doubt, but He does not withdraw His hand from mine. He is patient with my heart’s condition along this walk. He is not only patient, but He is tender to my heart. Even as I struggle in doubt, He gently comes close and reminds me of Truth.
This path is long, and I know not when the end will come. Yet I know what lies at the end, and He has shown me that it’s worth it. The path is not where I belong. At the end of the path, I will come to the country where I belong, and He will lead me further up and further in.
And every step will be worth it.
Every step that I doubted Him will make sense.
Every step that hurt will be healed.
Every step that I took away from Him will be forgotten.
Every step that brought joy will be magnified.
Every step that taught me will teach me more.
Every step I take, I am taking with Him.
While walking with Jesus, I have been restored, healed, strengthened, and equipped, all because of Him.