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Monday, 13 July 2015

Footprints in the Mud

The rain has muddied the path I often follow, so as I walked round this morning I noticed the hooves of cows who have been herded from one field to another, the boot prints of dog walkers, the bicycle tracks of cyclists, horseshoe prints, deer tracks, rabbit feet ... many others had trod this path before me.

On rocky outcrops, though, no trace was left of those who had passed this way.

As we walk each other home through life, many times the path is muddied – perhaps by the tears of those who have passed this way before us. Their suffering may sometimes signpost the way forward for us, the way home. 

The Bible is such a signpost. Today I read Psalm 27, which opens with the declaration, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid?’ Psalm 119:105 famously declares, ‘Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.’ 

I have been walking a hard path these last few weeks, and I am still on that hard path. But through it all, I have been amazed at the goodness of God. He has encouraged me through his word and through his presence and through the words and presence of others. He has kept me going forward on the tear-soaked paths and over the rocky outcrops. I am not confident that I know the way forward here at all, and so I am totally dependent on my loving Father. 

As I have observed the confusion and fears of the elderly, I have been challenged again to store up God’s word in my heart, so that when and/or if I reach such a state of confusion, I can continue to recognise that the Lord is my light and my salvation, so I shouldn’t be afraid, and that his word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. 

I don’t ever want to be lost on an unmarked way, but instead, no matter where I am living or what my circumstances, I want to have my hand firmly in that of my Saviour, my feet planted on his promises and my eyes lifted to his beautiful face.

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