Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, February 3, 2013

God's Pathway

“Cooper, keep walking!” I strongly stated, as he veered to the right for the tenth time. Oh, I thought, how frustrating. I just want to get back home and sit down a minute before fixing supper. Why can’t he stay on the path? Immediately God spoke to my heart—Debbie, have you always remained on the path I have planned for you?
My husband and I love animals and we have two energetic dogs, a golden retriever and a terrier mix. They live with us inside our home and need attention when we return from work. I enjoy the exercise, so I usually take them for a late afternoon walk. One day God used our walk as a spiritual lesson. 
My dogs and I tread the same trail almost every day for about a mile in our neighborhood. Fortunately our trek is on a sidewalk which helps prevent muddy paws and feet following a rain. One afternoon after a very long day at work, I began noticing how often my golden deviated off course. I’ve since noticed he always veers right and left, but that particular day I was annoyingly aware of every departure from “the straight and narrow.” My little terrier even tried to change course a couple of times.
I watched both my dogs while listening to God. They swerved to the left, checking out the smells, then swung to the right, marking their spot. Sometimes they completely stopped to get a sniff of the area. Only occasionally did they remain on the path for an extended amount of time. Distractions, noises, and smells received most of their attention, but they didn’t get very far because I had them on leashes. Still our walk took longer than I had planned, yet God didn’t waste a moment as He used the time to illustrate a life lesson. 
God helped me to understand how we humans sometimes deviate from the path of life. God has a plan for all of us, but He allows us to choose His way or our way. Even though He is faithful to always walk alongside of us, we may chose to stray from the path or become distracted, but remember, we’re NOT on leashes. When we’ve wandered from His way, our choices may bring us great harm. Yes, God gives us a choice in how to live our lives (like the prodigal son in Luke 15), and sometimes our decisions can take us far, far away from Him. And like the father in the story of the prodigal son, He waits with loving compassion for our return to Him. 
If you’ve ever gone astray and gotten lost along the way, don’t feel ashamed. Run to Jesus who anxiously awaits your return to His path. Or if you have a child, family member, spouse, or friend who has abandoned God’s pathway for their own way, lift them up in prayer to your Heavenly Father and wait with His mercy for them to come back home to Jesus. His arms are big enough to support all of us prodigals who choose to return and walk with Him. He waits with amazing love to pour out His grace upon our lives. 
God through Jesus Christ is faithful. He is gracious and patient with us, not wanting any of us to perish, but to live eternally with Him. He even desires for us to live for Him while we walk this earth. His words of mercy can be found in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. Read God’s instructions and promises below.
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NASB)
For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”  2 Chronicles 30:9 (NASB)
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].  1 John 1:9 (Amplified Bible)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.” 
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
And all God’s people said, “AMEN! Thank you, Lord Jesus!”

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