Along the Path

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The winding road through the mountains took us to sites unseen.  As an artist my dad would take his time driving the roads on scenic routes so not to miss a single inspiring view.  He would pull over and we’d all pile out to enjoy the “picture” he had glimpsed.  Off the beaten path are some of the best spots for resting.

My favorite memory from family vacations happened in Yellowstone National Park.  It’s virtually impossible to not find a wondrous view anywhere in that vacinity, but this spot was exceptional.  Right off the road Dad found a place for us to stop. 

Now…let me back up a minute. 

I was sick.  

This was a natural occurrance whenever we went on a trip.  I would come down with a fever, lose my voice…yada-yada-yada…making the trip difficult for all.  I couldn’t really help it, not being in charge of such things; but it was a frustration for the whole family and quite uncomfortable for me.  Although I loved the scenery, I wasn’t always in the best mood to stop for site-seeing.

But this time…this time the spot was too perfect to not enjoy in the midst of my illness.  We stopped for a picnic lunch beside a crystal clear brook.  Soaking up the day, resting along the bank, watching my dad and brother fish…amazing memories thirty-five years later.

The winding mountainous road leading to this perfect place of rest was a difficult one for me to travel.  But the brief moment of repose along the way is etched in my memory.  A moment of peace along the path.

O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me. 
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my every thought when far away.
You chart the path ahead of me
and tell me where to stop and rest.
Every moment you know where I am.

Psalm 139:1-3

He is preparing a place of rest.  The road may twist and turn in ways you can not see, but trust Him.  He sees the best place, the perfect spot of repose, the moment in time when you will feel His refreshing presence.  He is leading you.

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26 responses »

  1. Something to remember and something to look forward to. Annie is right, this is so good. BTW, I’ve got the melody of The Long and Winding Road playing in my head now.

  2. I love the analogy’s here 🙂

    Something has been bugging me a little lately; and a line in the Scripture quoted above relates to ir:

    ‘You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest.’

    Just like the line in Matthew 6 that says God knows what we have need of before we ask it ( in prayer) it implies that we have no ‘say’ in what we do – that all is pre-planned for us (and i hope this does not become a discussion on Predestination) 🙂

    What i’m having ‘difficulty ‘ with is the implication that nothing we ever do is able to benefit us – when God determines what we do and knows all we do in advance.

    Surely that means that whatever we ‘do’ we are following His Plan as it applies to our own life?

    or is our free-will so powerful that it can pull us from the Path he has prepared before us?

    Is it not fair to say that The Life of Christ described in Scripture shows that even God’s own Son was born to a life of Suffering here on earth and that therefore we are deceiving ourselves if we believe that we should be free of it while we learn to walk His Path for each and every one of us?

    How then can we suffer without doing what goes against what may or may not be His Wishes?

    <B

  3. And so, in the midst of your ‘sickness’ of the moment, know that He is taking you to a place where the repose of soul is greater than the suffering. He arises with healing in His wings.

  4. Hey, Love, thanks for the compliment. 😉

    “Just like the line in Matthew 6 that says God knows what we have need of before we ask it ( in prayer) it implies that we have no ’say’ in what we do – that all is pre-planned for us (and i hope this does not become a discussion on Predestination)”

    I do believe we see both in scripture — free-will and predestination. I believe somewhere in eternity those two parallel lines converge. Now don’t get on to me! I know that would never work on Earth, in our finite world. But somewhere, in God’s infiinity free-will and His choosing work together. He has allowed them to coexist. Both can be defended with scripture — the Word of Truth.

    I take comfort in knowing that if I choose a path contrary to what He would desire I take, He is still overseeing my world. He still sees the path ahead and is able, at any point in time, to intervene if He so wills. He might step back and allow me to experience all of the consequences of my bad choices…He might step in and drastically stop my progress…He may create a fork in the road to get my back on track…

    He can DO whatever because He is God. But whatever it is He chooses to do will be LOVE.

    Is that too simplistic? Probably for most people that thinking would never work…but it is what I see when I read scripture. What do you think? 😕

    Hey there, Annie! I’m OK. Lots of changes happening in my world. Lots of opportunities for growth and moving beyond my four walls. That’s a good thing, but it does keep my away from the computer. I’m drawing more and selling my work through a local gift shop. That has been very cool. Family and friends constantly coming and going…it should slow down soon…I’m hopeful. Love you, Sparkle…we need to chat soon. 😉

    Thank you, Dale. He is working…showing me just that. Amazing love the Father has graciously poured out on us. 🙂

  5. I just took a very, very, very, very, very, very, very long trip. I enjoyed the many moments of repose along the path.

    In my case, though, getting there–or here, I should say–was only the beginning. I have so many miles to go…

    …but there are moments of repose along this path as well. Just had one when I stepped outside and saw the still, blue sky.

    And I have seen the lamp unto my feet, the light onto my path.

  6. He is good to give us those moments, Nor.

    Ric mentioned the Beatles’ song, “The Long and Winding Road,” it’s good. But I keep thinking of the beginning of, “He Ain’t Heavy.” I found the lyrics online:

    The road is long
    With many a winding turn
    That leads us to who knows where
    Who knows where
    But I’m strong
    Strong enough to carry him
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    So on we go
    His welfare is my concern
    No burden is he to bear
    We’ll get there
    For I know
    He would not encumber me
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    Bridge:
    If I’m laden at all
    I’m laden with sadness
    That everyone’s heart
    Isn’t filled with gladness
    And love for one another

    It’s a long, long road
    From which there is no return
    While we’re on the way to there
    Why not share
    And the load doesn’t weigh me down at all
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    Somehow I think that fits. It kinda reminds me of your Storm Stories Series…

  7. Yeah…me too, Gitz. Open a window, breathe in the fresh air (now that you can) and rest…in Him. For me? It’s a few minutes in the backyard looking at the sky, checking out the plants, trimming the thyme…talking to God…

    Good stuff.

  8. I think Ric meant a different song..at least since reading his comment…I am now humming..the long and winding road that leads me to…. i have one of those minds that will stick with that song til something else bumps it out. weak minded!

    Hope you are getting enough rest, and wondering why I don’t hear from you anymore..mmmmmmm

  9. Yeah, isn’t “A Long and Winding Road” a Beatles song? That’s what I kept singing. I went to look it up and realized I was singing a different song…

    I didn’t know the words to “He Ain’t Heavy” were so good…I used to hate that song. 😕

  10. Yeppers… i was humming (mentally) this one:

    The long and winding road
    That leads to your door
    Will never disappear
    Ive seen that road before
    It always leads me her
    Lead me to you door

    The wild and windy night
    That the rain washed away
    Has left a pool of tears
    Crying for the day
    Why leave me standing here
    Let me know the way

    but i like He Ain’t Heavy too.

  11. Oh yeah!! I’m glad you’re busy, actually, since I know it has been weighing on you not being able to do things. So praise God for these opportunities! Yeah! You should take some pictures of your work and post them here … I mean … I would like to see some posted pictures of your work. :] Love you!

  12. I have several spots in my mind where I “rest” one is under a tree about 1/2 mile walk from my home in Michigan. I remember sitting there with the snow falling and the deer mulling around just a few feet in front of me. God gave me that moment – that picture.

  13. Rest is good and very needful. I do believe the Lord wants us to find that rest he offers; not all of us will, however. We all not those “ahhhhh” moments when God takes us to a place of rest prepared ahead of time. Wow!

    Here’s a scripture to ponder:
    Thus says the Lord:Stand by the roads, and look,and ask for the ancient paths,where the good way is; and walk in it,and find rest for your souls.But they said, We will not walk in it.
    (Jeremiah 6:16, ESV)

    God offers the rest, but not everyone will take it. Thanks for reminding us about the rest of God on a beautiful road.

  14. love that verse Jeremiah 6:16, and thinking I am going to pray it..except for the rebellious part 😉 wonder why they wouldn’t want rest for their soul…sounds like a new topic to me…hey michelle are you going to run with it…or like Annie said..post some of your creations..

  15. Hey, Annie and Darla…I just might post some work one of these days. I don’t know why, but it really makes me nervous. I’m not a portrait artist like you, Annie. Just simple drawings…we’ll see.

    That sounds like a moment from a dream, Papa. Wow. God is so good to us, creating this amazing world for us to enjoy.

    Amen, Preacher! Why is it we don’t stop to rest? What are we striving so hard to achieve? I don’t mean to suggest we shouldn’t work hard…a good work ethic…but obviously, He felt rest was important enough to ordain one day out of seven for it.

    “…Ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is…”

    I’m with you, Darla…I’m asking…

  16. Well, sometimes, being in a new place feels kind of heavy. There is much more to it than I had imagined…

    …and, at times, that feels heavy.

  17. @darla: I personally think the reason they would not walk in that way is because they did not want to be accountable to God: “don’t give me any rules and regulations, because I’m happy just the way things are.” So many have said that, and so many have been sorely disappointed when they could have had so much more.

    We feel like we must be busy with being busy, if that makes any sense. While preaching Wednesday night, I mentioned an Air Force man who worked down the street from me. All of us guys called him “Nervous Nelly” because he was always worrying about things. He even worried when there wasn’t any worrying to be done and there wasn’t anything to worry about.

    Always doing things our way instead of God’s is called simply stubborn.

  18. Hi Michelle 🙂 Just stopping by to say hi and pass on love.

    It’s such a comforting thing to know that God has prepared a place of rest and beauty for us, even though the journey can be difficult at times.

    I loved the part at the beginning about your Dad, as an artist, taking you all on the most scenic routes so that you wouldn’t miss an inspiring view. How wonderful he looked out for ways to add beauty to your days! 🙂

  19. I am praying for you, Nor. The only thing that’s wrong with “He Ain’t Heavy,” we do know where the road is leading…keep seeking the sunrise.

    Our way instead of God’s way…stubborn. Submission to His ways. It’s so simple to remember and yet so hard, at times, to do. Thanks, Preacher.

    Hey, Birg! Dad was always good about pointing out beauty wherever we went. He truly spoke to my heart, having his love of art in common.

    Thanks for coming by to pass on love. I need to get around the blogosphere and do the same. I’ve been away a while now. I’ve missed seeing your art. 😉

  20. Hi Michelle. The discipline of taking the time to look for the beauty is a precious gift your father gave to you. That we may learn to see the beauty that our Father sees along the way.

  21. Okay, Angie…a year and two months later…I’m just now seeing this???

    The beauty our Father sees along the way…

    I’m thinking of beauty from ashes today…

    Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee!
    Thou changes not, Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou has been Thou forever will be!

    He continues to call me His beloved…even when I’m looking more like ashes…He sees the beauty…He knows what He’s doing. I think I’ll rest with that thought today.

    Thanks, Angie, a year later.

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