I’ve always loved trees, with their beauty, strength and established sense of permanence. They are promising in spring, beautiful in summer, magnificent in autumn, and even in winter, they’re hopeful! No surprises, then, that I love to wander in the woods. I start out on established pathways, but am frequently tempted away by signs of smaller, trodden paths disappearing into the undergrowth. The trodden ways are easy to follow, for others have gone before me and the path is marked out.
I was reminded of this by a fascinating picture in the Psalms. “Righteousness shall go before Him, and shall set us in the way of His steps.” [85:13 italics mine] Strong’s dictionary tells me that ‘way’ is the translation of a Hebrew word that means ‘a trodden path’. I love the thought that I am being ‘set’ in a trodden path that has been marked out for me by One who has gone before. We won’t get lost in the ‘woods’ of life if we follow the trodden path. “Blessed be the love,” writes Amy Carmichael, “that divides up the journey of life into steps, such little things, like minutes, to which, indeed, they correspond.”
Life has key moments of joy, of achievement, of fulfilment; and of trauma, pain, or loss. But otherwise it is made up of the many small steps that take us through our every-day. It’s easy to feel we are losing our way, when we are bogged down by the humdrum of the necessities of living, so it’s important to remember that Yahweh is treading the whole way before us. Yahshua knew when it was time to preach, to do miracles, to ride in triumph on a donkey; He also made time to eat [Matthew 14:15], to sleep [Mark 4:38], to pay taxes [Matthew 17:24-27].
As each day, with its many minutes, rolls out before us, let us connect with the One who goes before us. Some minutes may be joyful, others painful; some peaceful, others anxious, and so on, but He knows the way! Let us pray with King David, “Teach me your way, O [Yahweh], and lead me on a level path…” (a trodden path) [Psalm 27:11]
Photo: Copyright Valerie Warsop