How do you get through a narrow path and dark places of your life? Do you stay there feeling self-pity and overwhelmed with fear? Or do you keep moving forward with hope? You must go through darkness sometimes in life to know that you’re in need of light. And that light leads you through those narrow paths eventually to specious ground.
The road that I was traveling narrowed until I felt as if the walls were closing in on me, just as I saw myself struggling the same way in my vision. Seems like I was walking along the edge of the mountain, balancing on a very thin, threadlike trail. Some people walked ahead of me and some behind. Some excited at the thrill that this passage was offering, others struggling to pass through on the narrow path. Sometimes living on life’s edge seems very exciting. But it can be costly and harmful to us and to those around us. Just as playing with fire will eventually burn us, living life too close the the edge will likely cause us to fall. A scar on the soul is far worse than on the face.
” Can man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?” ( Proverbs 6:27 )
While I was determined to get out of the narrow passage and away from the ledge (the toxic environment in my daily life) and climb the path ahead, God was lovingly teaching me important lessons: how to trust Him, how to keep focused on the steps in front of me, and how He never lets go of my hand.
The smile never fades from my face, even in tearful moments, because the Lord lifts me up at every step. Even through the darkest times, His light is always shining on those who put their trust in Him.
Obviously, we all have trials in our lives. Pain and problems are part of life, and they’re opportunities to show our trust in God. Some of His greatest gifts come wrapped in trials. As we unwrap them, we begin to see God’s abundant blessings, even in difficult moments. If we are patient and pray continually, our perseverance will bring us joy.
Sometimes difficult moments dimmed my vision, like a blanket of fog settling over the road and I could barely see anything ahead. The fog represented regrets of the past and fears of an uncertain future. I needed to pay more attention to God and feel His presence with each step. As I began talking to God, praising Him and thanking Him for His faithfulness, the fog became a protection, calling me back to the present moment, causing me to slow down and not get ahead of God. This verse is a powerful prayer.
“O Lord, send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your Holy hill and to Your Holy dwelling.”
He will hear us and guard our hearts and minds with His truth and Love. God is so gracious – He gently takes us from place to place, and from glory to glory to show us that His love endures forever. He corrects and disciplines us, just as a father does with his child.
Just as I began to think that everything was going to be okay, I turned a corner and something stirred within me. Feelings of guilt and regret surfaced. Oh no, Lord! Why? Can I please just have a break?! I wanted to give up on myself, I was tired of not getting it right. In this time of confusion, I had to shield myself with His word. At this point I began memorizing these two verses. They gave me strength to persevere in facing life’s challenges. These verses became my lifeline and support. I say it again, the Lord is my lifeline and support.
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
(Psalm 139: 23-24)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Test me and know my anxious thoughts!
And see if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
The word of God became my strength. Without it I was in a deep and dark place, so lost that I couldn’t recognize the true Light through the dark clouds of fear and isolation. Why doesn’t God just take the darkness away and make us right with Him? That would be very easy but we would never learn anything from it. Hardship will bear good fruit.
(James 1:4) says; “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
You and I both know this with confident by now that even in the darkness God’s light guides and leads us through a narrow path. Always and forever……