Stepping out to a crunch, our breath was deep and clear and soon rosy cheeks matched the sparkle that twinkled from the fresh laden snow to the laughing eyes of us all as we ventured up and down hills, climbed through fallen trees, and flew with the sled over newly made trails. God’s creation is awesome and full of lessons about Him. HIS faithfulness enveloped us as we hiked, pointing out special promises over each footstep. It all started with AbiNoelle trudging along behind us….I’m sure you can hear it now, “But Mommy…”
“Just step in Daddy’s footprints,” I instructed from ahead. Glancing back, a few times, I questioned, “Are you walking in Daddy’s footsteps? It will be easier if you do.” You see, Daddy was stomping down the thorny vines, breaking down overhanging limbs, watching out for rocks and holes that might cause a fall – he was making the perfect path. Just like our Heavenly Father, who knoweth THE WAY long before we can see it all, prepares and directs our steps. If only we would just follow Him step by step, we could avoid the pitfalls of this world that may cause us trouble or harm.
With slight exasperation, she called out, “I’m trying to, Mommy, but…sometimes…his footsteps…well, I just have to stretch so far to reach them!”
And so it is with our Heavenly Guide. Knowing all that we can handle and are capable of, He purposefully stretches us to reach the place He’d have us be. The challenge of His plan builds our trust and grows our faith in His perfect leadership in our life.
As we weaved through the brush, Mommy and AbiNoelle soon fell out of step with Daddy’s trail and ventured toward a shortcut, but, uh-oh, look-out! Those tangles of vines! We thought we could just force our way through, the vines would brake against our force, and we could rejoin Daddy. But, No-No! Those vines, though brown and dead looking, were strong, thorny, and could not be broken. Back-tracking we went, to Daddy’s steps and the more sure way.
Isn’t that just like us! To think we know the best way and plow ahead of God’s WAY only to find out the hard way that our way was poor and His WAY best.
As we came into the clearing, Porkchop (the family cat), who had previously been crying and pouncing around, wondering what had happened to bring all this white, cold stuff, stopped right in the middle of our trail, in between Daddy and AbiNoelle. So do we like to get all flustered by the unexpected and just flutter around in confusion, crying and worrying, and wondering what we should do. Well, this cat’s abrupt stop, quickly brought a guttural gasp from AbiNoelle as he did his business right in plain view! Yuck! What a distraction from the trail. This ole world daily “drops” distractions into our path, and, sadly, many times, the Devil wins out, we stop looking to the Guide, we fall off the STRAIGHT WAY, and we become fixated on the scene before us.
Once we moved beyond “the cat’s business,” our look forward showed AmiJoy, safe in Daddy’s arms, along for the ride, and far ahead of us. Wouldn’t it be just great if we could remember that we are just along for a ride that can be pleasing to Him, while knowing that this world is not our home and we’re just a’passin’ through. What a promise to rest in the truth that He will carry us even down the toughest of roads.
As we paused for a rest, Porkchop (yes, the cat) found a dry spot to sit. By this point, AmiJoy’s fun was coming to an end as she began to droop from our trek. We all turned to head home – all but the cat. He had found his dry spot and wasn’t willing to give it up to trudge back into the cold. Oh, how we do the same! We get into that comfort zone and aren’t willing to give it up to follow the Master. “He’ll come home when it’s dinner time,” we told AbiNoelle. Yes, the dry spot will eventually be left, but instead of following us home, Porkchop will now have a colder, lonelier, darker trip home. Many times, our Father does allow us to choose our own way, and even though that journey may lead us home, the WAY was not His plan, His choosing, or His will. Sadly, we missed the best!
Oh, that we might daily see and choose each footstep created just for us, for truly, His way is Perfect.
Footsteps and the Cat’s Business