She’d walked for what felt like miles – hundreds and hundreds of miles – amongst the thorns, trying desperately to push through. They pulled at her sleeve and grabbed at her arms, screaming at her to turn around… to give up. She could see the meadow through the branches though – she could see the light, the colors, the promise of a new day and a new beginning and so, she pushed on. But just when she thought she’d made it through one patch, another one would come up – bigger thorns, thicker walls that continued to snarl, you can’t do this. You’ll never make it.
Tears well up in her eyes, sweat dripping from her head as she pushes as hard as she can against the brush, against the weight of the world. The branches seem to multiply faster than she can manage. They mock her as she tries with all of her might to get through. And just as she’s about to give up, just as she’s about to turn her back to the beauty that lies just beyond – the place she holds all of her dreams and hopes for her life – she sees Him. He’s standing next to her, looking at her ever so closely. Funny how she hadn’t noticed Him standing there before, had He been there this whole time? Let me lead, He whispers. She frowns as the tears now roll down her cheeks and she thinks, but I can do this on my own. She takes another step forward but a thorn digs into her side, and as she stops to relieve the pain she realizes that He had taken that same step alongside her. Let me lead, He whispers again.
Her shoulders slump as she takes a deep sigh and hangs her head. He gently lifts up her chin, smiles, and says – I’ve got this. I’ve got you. He takes a step forward, in front of her this time, reaching out one hand behind Him to her. She grabs ahold, and step by step, He pulls away the brush and the thorns with His other hand as He leads her. They cut deep into His skin, but this doesn’t stop Him. He continues to move forward, making a pathway safe with His Promise for her to follow. It would be easy for her to look down at her feet, to watch for branches He may have missed along the way, but He continues to remind her to look up and not to worry about the path, but to simply take one step after another, in His footsteps. The path is still rough in some places, but this time when she stumbles, she looks to His hand to help her stand again. And He does help her stand again – every single time.
Finally, the branches clear and the thorns disappear. He’s led her to the meadow – breathtakingly vast, green grass, blue skies, flowers filling the land for as far as her eyes can see. A warm breeze greets her and she closes her eyes and breathes it in deeply. It’s quiet here, the most beautiful place she’s ever been and she feels it in the deepest part of her heart. She looks at Him and smiles. He smiles back and says,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
How many times have we tried to walk through the thick and painful brush of this world on our own? Alone, and yet determined to make it ours because somewhere in time we believed that our way was the best way. We lead ourselves blindly into the brush, into the thorns, as we continue to convince ourselves we can do it a bit more and then just a bit more. It’s exhausting, and it physically hurts as it rips away at our hearts. The weight of the world is incredibly heavy, meant for no human being to ever have to carry, and yet- we continue to convince ourselves that we can and that we should. We continue to forget that our Creator cares deeply about our hearts and we continuously question whether or not He even cares about our dreams. (Reminder, dear one: He does.)
Today, I am forever grateful that Jesus continues to take the thorns of my own selfish world in order to make a spectacular pathway for my life. Don’t give up on your walk with Him; let Him lead. You were the single most important rescue mission in the history of time, you are His greatest love! Keep your head up and let Him clear away the brush and the thorns so that you may be led to the beauty He continues to create just for you.
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