Have you ever found yourself wearing the wrong pair of shoes?
I remember a winter a few years ago when we woke to much colder conditions then our Southern norm. I was excited for the chance to finally wear my leather boots. But as my daughter and I stepped outside to head to the car, I made a shocking discovery. My boots were warm and, oh, so pretty, but they weren’t remotely suited for an icy walkway.
In that moment, my backside felt the brunt of a life lesson. It doesn’t matter how nice or attractive footwear is, if it doesn’t fit the need, it’s pretty much worthless.
The same holds true with the shoes we wear on our faith walk. Spiritual flip flops are easy to slip on–occasional time in the Word, church attendance when we’re not too busy, a quick prayer as we rush through life–but they’ll never be sufficient to take us through difficult terrain or across long distances without tripping us up.
If God has placed you, or allowed you to be, on a difficult path right now, know that it’s natural to not want to be there. There’s nothing wrong with asking God to smooth the way, to place you on an easier road. But often time, that’s not His will. He knows the purpose when we don’t.
When the Apostle Paul was headed to Jerusalem, the believers were afraid and didn’t want him to go. They knew that road led to nothing but danger and suffering. But Paul was prepared. God had placed him on the rocky path for a reason, so he laced up his hiking boots and pressed on.
Even Jesus prayed for another option in the garden. He knew the cross lay before Him and that path required a serious pair of shoes. But His desire was to only do God’s will. He didn’t falter. He went to work in steel-toed boots to save us all.
A believer’s path will never be completely smooth. In fact, we’re promised trouble. But we’re also promised that we won’t walk alone. We need to stock our closet with footwear suitable for any path we may find ourselves on. Shoes that grip when the narrow way turns precarious. Shoes to run the long distance race. Strong, firm shoes to trample the head of the enemy when he attacks. Shoes of peace as we share the Good News with the world. And shoes for dancing in the joy of the Lord.
I’ve been on a particularly rocky road lately, one filled with grief and loss, and though I’ve prayed for the way to change, this is where He has led me. So instead of praying for a different road, I’m praying for the right pair of shoes. Ones that will help me make it all count for His glory.
Message for the Journey:
It’s hard to focus on much more than your discomfort when you’re wearing the wrong pair of shoes. When you find yourself going through difficulty, think less about the road you’re on and more about what’s on your feet. Ask God for shoes to walk it well. The right pair really can make all the difference.
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.- Heb 12:1b-2a