Monday Morning Devotion- January 22, 2024
Broadening the Path
*from July 2018
You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. Psalm 18:36
Have you ever been walking along and all-of-a-sudden you made a misstep and turned your ankle? Not good! First, it shocks you because it is unexpected. Secondly, you can be hurt if you are unable to quickly regain your balance and keep from falling all the way to the ground.
We don't start out walking with the idea in mind that we might fall. Like the proverbial statement: "It's like walking on eggshells." Of course, that means that you are trying hard not to upset someone, so you are careful about what you say or do. However, on our own physical walks the person who might be upset by our course of action would be us. We could trip, physically, and fall. That is the least of our worries when we go for a walk. It's the furthest thing on our mind. But it could happen.
We don't always see what is ahead of us. What obstacle might complicate our journey, trip us up, cause us to fall? But the Lord knows, and He protects us.
Sarah Young ("Always Jesus”) writes: "The Lord knows what is before me, so he broadens the path, so I don't trip or sprain my ankle. He can alter the path ahead of me to make it easier. Sometimes he allows me to see what He has done for me. At other times I am blissfully unaware of the hardship I've been spared."
Since the Lord is there protecting and directing us, we don't have to worry about tripping and falling or turning our ankle. In fact, God wants us to step out, not stay rooted to the spot.
He doesn't want us to be fearful when we are following the agenda He has for us.
I read three things on www.crosswalk.com that God wants us to do even when the path is not clear. Keeping in mind today's scripture that He will broaden our path so we don't turn our ankle (fail) here are the things we can count on Him to help us with:
1) Get out of our comfort zone: Are you rooted where you are? Doing the same old thing day in and day out? Why? Is that what you enjoy? Does it make you feel secure? It's safe there, or is it?
On Crosswalk Jennifer Heeren writes: "God wants me to continually step out of my comfort zone and trust him with the unknown. I have to leave room for God to guide me. If God were to come show me step-by-step his exact will for my life, it wouldn't require faith for me to follow Him."
Sometimes you may require someone else to give you a little nudge to get you moving out of that comfort zone. This is no problem for me. I am married to the Champion Comfort- Zone-Nudger, (CZN) The Lovely Susette. I usually resist---at first. But, often after my initial "no way", in retrospect, I decide that this might be a good thing to do after all. I don't always come to that conclusion, but usually when I do it works out well.
But stepping out of your comfort zone and having success can give you the confidence to attempt it again. Besides that, it can get the CZN off your back. :)
2) Take One Step at a Time: "Another reason God doesn't want you to know too much too soon is if you learn what's up too quickly before you get on down the path you might get overwhelmed and give up. It might seem too hard and, of course, you don't know where you might end up."
The point is that God knows the outcome. He is not asking you to immediately jump out there and cover a five-mile journey right off the bat. That would cause too much stress and hamper your best effort. As you take each step, one at a time, your vision becomes clearer and you start to see down the road---remembering that God is broadening your path so you won't "turn your ankle" (fail).
3) Action lessens worry: Too much analysis causes paralysis. By overanalyzing you start to worry instead of springing into action. "Taking action erases a lot of these worries because the act of doing something takes on a life of its own. You can concentrate on the task at hand, not the results that will come later. Worry about the future results usually happens before you ever take an action to complete something. Taking actions regularly is a way of living in the moment and often deletes some of the fears of the future and the regrets of the past. "
In Hebrews 11:8 we read: "It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going." And we know how that story turned out. Abraham became the father of many nations because he trusted God.
This would be a good week to broaden your path, extend those horizons, get out of your comfort zone. Remember: The Lord is going ahead of you and widening that path and clearing the obstructions, so you won't turn an ankle. You will not fall or fail.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for always being ahead of the game so we can boldly move forward fully trusting you. Amen!