Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
I completed a meaningful bible study on the names of God many years ago. I believe that all His names are powerful and should be called upon daily. During the study, I had a vivid image of Jehovah Rohi, which translated means: The Lord Our Shepherd. As we studied about the Lord as our shepherd, I had an image of God guiding us along HIS path, and it is not your typical path.
Nine years ago our family hiked the towns of Cinque Terre (Five Lands) in Italy, which is the rugged portion of coastline on the Italian Riveria. It is comprised of five villages. We were ambitious as a family, and set out early one morning to hike all five lands. The hotel manager took one look at us (especially me wearing sandals that were not made for hiking) and told us to take the train to the first two towns, skipping the hardest part and then hiking the rest. We all (as a family) agreed that we were up for hiking all five lands and set out on our way.
The beginning of the hike was steep and rocky. My husband and I (stopping every few steps to catch our breath) did not think that we were going to make it, and that was only five minutes into this journey! We finally rallied our spirits, got our act together, and said: We can do this!
When the path leveled, it also narrowed. The kids led the way in front, but it was pretty scary because there was a steep drop-off on the side. There was not much to see in front of us because of the green brush surrounding the path, but we kept moving: putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what.
I think that is much like our walk with the Lord as He guides us through life. Sometimes is may be steep and hard and rocky, and you are not sure you can make it. Most always the path is narrow, for God’s Word tells us in Matthew 7:13: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”
Being on the hike with the steep rocky parts and the narrow path, putting one foot in front of the other, we eventually rounded the bend to see the most breathtaking view that you can imagine.
We need to know that we have a God who loves us and will guide us through anything that life brings our way. Life may be hard, steep and rocky, whether it is with your marriage, your finances, your children, or your health. But hold fast to God’s word and His Character – the Good Shepherd – putting one foot in front of the other that is faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.
God is the Good Shepherd and He will guide you through all the paths in our lives and the best is yet to come. I especially pray this for my all four of my children, that they would constantly be reminded of this truth and remember the climb! It was worth it!