Monday, July 22

The Trek Through the Woods

Years ago, Sheila’s Grandfather (a very huge man in every sense of the word) purchased a piece of property. He was very eager to show me the boundaries of this new property. I should add here that a good portion of this property was heavily wooded. I’m not just talking trees. I am talking trees, bushes, vines, briars and bamboo. It was thick. Grand-Dad marched into the uncut woods: no paths, no machete not even a stick to knock spiderwebs out of the way. Just this big man bulldozing through the brush. And he wasn’t taking his sweet time. He was plowing through the woods with me trailing behind: at the same pace he would if he was walking through the mall (not that you would have EVER gotten this man in a mall!). He seemed to be having no trouble at all. Me on the other hand: I was struggling to keep pace. Mosquitoes all over me, spider webs in my hair, limbs that he pushed through were slapping me like an offended Wal-Mart shopper. My arms and neck were being cut from sharp branches and briars. It was the hardest thing I have been through in a long time and it hurt. 

Why am I telling this story? Well if you follow my FB post, you know that I just finished a few books on discipleship: ‘Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman’ and ‘Follow Me by David Platt’. Both of these books talk about truly being a follower of Christ-not just the invitation but the warning that goes with it. As I reflect on the challenges of both of these books, I couldn’t help to remember this journey into the woods after this great man. See, we are called to follow and the path that Jesus took and it is not easy: It is rewarding but by no means easy. If you think it is, you’re probably doing it wrong. Well back to my story: This trek happened many many years ago, Grand-Dad has gone on to be with Jesus and we are left here missing him but after all this time, as I closed this second book I realized something about that walk: As hard as it was for me to follow, Grand-dad (like Jesus) had a much tougher job leading! See there is nowhere in following Jesus that he has not already been before you. If you are attacked by mosquitoes, he was first and probably more, if you got spider webs on you: you got what he left behind, if you got hit by limbs: he was hit first and had to push though them. See Grand-Dad made a path of sorts. While it wasn’t a clean path, it was way cleaner than when he went through ahead of me. This is the same with Christ. When He said his yoke was easy, it is because He has already been there before you and did the work. It is through Christ that I can succeed.

So whatever your struggles, whatever your burdens, if you are following after Jesus, he has made the journey easier by going before you. 

Thank you Grand-Dad for leading the way so many years ago. I’d have never made it through without you.
Thank you Jesus for leading the way every day. I'd never make it through without you.

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