When my children were young, we attended a church within walking distance. We walked to church at least three times a week in daylight or in the dark. No matter the weather, we walked, because it seemed so silly to drive such a short distance, maybe the length of a football field.
We lived in the country, a very rural area with few to no outdoor lights at the time. There weren’t street lights, so on moonless nights the stars were amazing and our feet found the path because we walked it so often.
One night, one of the men at the church wanted to walk over to the house with us to see my husband, who had stayed home. He had a question for him. He’d visited our home several times, but he’d never walked there before. The overcast night shut out even the light of the stars and you could barely see your hand in front of your face.
We were just starting down our long, curved driveway, when our friend stopped. “I can’t see where I’m going. I think I’ll go back and get my car.”
My girls and I all stopped too. I hated to see him go all the way back. We were halfway home by then. To us the path was easy to navigate.
“Here, put your hand on my arm.” I held out my arm and he took hold. One of my daughters came up on his other side. Between us, we guided him the rest of the way to the house where he talked with my husband and then used a flashlight to return to his car.
I’ve often thought of that night and how important it is to familiarize myself with the path I need to walk. As an analogy of walking in faith on the path God wants me on, there are times the path is dark and no matter how much I’ve planned and prepared, I still need to take someone’s hand and have them guide me. Of course, the hand I must reach for is that of the Lord, Who is always there to help me.
In this time of upheaval in our world, I find the need to reach for His steadying hand much more often. He keeps me on the course I need to take. He even shows me a new path that is important for the times right now.
The book of Ephesians has much to say about walking. These verses guide me and give light to my path during dark days.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10 (NKJV)
I must walk in the good works God has given me to accomplish. These works may have changed in the past weeks from what I normally do, but I must be flexible and willing to walk where God guides me. When I do what He’s prepared for me, I find so much comfort. I’m no longer concerned about myself or what I can’t do, but am looking toward others and how I can help them.
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Eph.4:1-3 (NKJV)
This verse is especially important right now. Not only must I walk worthy of my calling, or the invitation God extended to me, but I must walk with humility and patience for others. Why? To keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Peace is something that seems to be missing right now and as a Christian, I have a peace some don’t have access to. By walking in this manner, I can be an example to those who are fearful and struggling. I can bring a measure of comfort and point them to the one Who brings true peace.
“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Eph. 5:2 (NKJV)
Whoa! Walk in love as Christ loved. As I stay home day after day, this becomes a little difficult at times. I know those who have children and spouses home and aren’t used to the added chaos and disruption to schedules are stretched more than I am. Yet, I must remember to walk in love. To bite back that harsh word. To do an act of kindness that I may not feel like doing. To be humble and patient. To become as a sweet-smelling aroma to God. With His help, I can walk in love.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Eph. 5:8 (NKJV)
I need to remember where I came from. I once walked in fear and darkness. Now that I walk in His light, I have to remember how scary and uncertain those times were. This will help me be understanding to those around me who don’t have the comfort and peace that I have. Instead of spreading rumor and uncertainty, I am tasked with walking in light and sharing Jesus peace and comfort to a world in desperate need. What a beautiful calling.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise…” Eph. 5:15 (NKJV)
I must be diligent in my walk. I can’t act one way and then become different the next day. That is confusing. I have to continue to be steadfast in my faith, even when the world around me is going crazy. God is the same always. I can rest in that and find comfort that He is there. Walking diligently and displaying my faith in the same manner all the time is walking in wisdom, not as a foolish person.
I can only walk like this when my hand is firmly planted in the Lord’s hand. With Him to guide me, I can walk through dark times with peace and confidence. I hope and pray that you will take His hand and walk with Him. Who knows, maybe someone will need to place their hand on our arm to navigate the path until they reach Him.