Earlier this week I enjoyed a walk in the woods with a friend of mine. It had rained through the night but we were prepared with boots and waterproof coats. Off we went. Don’t you love the smell of forest and leaves after a good rain?
As we walked along the path we were following, we came to a sudden stop because a tree had fallen over and was completely blocking the path. This was no surprise due to all the flooding that has taken place in recent weeks. There were, in fact, several trees fallen over. Even so, this did not deter our walk. We would simply go around it.
We set off, leaving the path, and making a new path of our own. We walked carefully, watching where we put our feet, and pushing aside wet branches and bushes. At one point, very unexpected, I felt my body lurching forward. The path was clear as far as I could tell, but no! What was that grabbing at my ankle? My arms flew out to steady myself and wonderfully I regained my balance before I toppled over onto a wet and muddy earth below me.
A very thin, but strong vine had crossed my path, refusing to let my leg move forward. I shook my leg and foot, and easily enough, freed myself from this vine trap. If I had not taken swift action to regain balance, and made attempt to free myself, I would surely have fallen down.
As my friend and I got back onto the right path on the other side of the fallen tree, a thought came to my mind. We take physical walks in this world, but we take spiritual walks, too. We can be walking along with God, everything is going just fine. We are enjoying our walk with Him but then a difficulty crosses our path. A tree of great challenge has blocked our way.
We decide not to let a challenge stop our walk. After all, God is bigger than any problem we can ever experience. Therefore, with thoughts still on our walk with God, we veer in another direction, but wait! Something unawares has made an attempt to trip us. Do you ever feel that way? Perhaps a vine of fear and doubt grabs your ankle, trying to make you fall. Maybe a vine of worry causes you to lose your balance. You’re trapped! You’re falling! Help! What can be done?
In these situations there is something most important to remember: Whatever you do, don’t just stand there, and if you do fall, don’t just lay there. Keep focusing on God. Shake your leg and foot with His promises of strength, and get out of the way of what is attempting to stop you in your tracks.
At such moments, Satan will quickly take opportunity to whisper words of failure in your ear. He loves to see us trip and fall. Walking with God isn’t on his agenda for any of us. Satan is always designing unseen vines to hinder our walk with our Father.
I encourage us all, when we know we’re about to fall; when weakness of heart and courage has drained away; when resolve to do what is right has all but disappeared — make a choice to call out to Father for help, and then — walk on. Get up and go. Laying there in failure and defeat will never get anyone to a good place. In fact, you get no where at all.
When vines of temptation or any other weakness crosses your path — make a God choice — take Father’s own strength; shake yourself free, and keep on walking. Don’t concentrate on the whole of the path that needs to be walked; that can be overwhelming. Instead, concentrate on one step at a time. Like the Apostle Paul reminds us in Colossians 2:6, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord – so walk in Him.” Make the choice — walk on and enjoy the views along the way.