We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God's throne!
-- Hebrews 12:2
The Christ-follower's faith-journey is often compared to a hike along an uneven, winding road or a perilous climb up a craggy mountainside. We can never know what's around the bend or over the next hill. Our vision is limited. And it's all too easy to lose our footing on the steep inclines and fall back a little.
A faith-journey is also like a narrow, rocky trail along a canyon's edge. There's little margin for error. But there are usually signs that warn travelers to stick close to the path. Unfortunately, our tendency is to take our eyes from the destination and choose an attractive detour. Alternative life-routes may offer the prospect of fun and adventure for a while. But unless these ways mirror God's ways, the ultimate result is failure and disaster.
"There is a way that appears to be right," Proverbs 14:12 tells us. "But in the end it leads to death."
God--like a warning sign posted by a waterfall--urges us to stay on the true path that leads to life. He knows that life's problems, temptations and tragedies await us around the corner. It's when we go our own way that we trip headlong after compromising our principles with the world's values. And instead of taking responsibility for our actions, we ask God why He permitted the predictable outcome.
Rather than literal boulders, hairpin turns and washed-out bridges, the hazards along our faith-journey typically involve issues like unemployment, broken relationships, missed credit card payments and chronic illness. To persevere through these obstacles, our call is to stay close to our Guide--and always remember that we worship a God who's much greater than our circumstances. He's led us safely through the rough times before...and He can do so again today. And through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, God has already overcome the greatest life-hazard of them all: sin.
Have you lost your way along your faith-journey? To get back on the path, focus on Jesus' lead...and then follow Him home:
"I am the way and the truth and the life," He assures us. "No one comes to the Father except through me."