Have you ever walked along a narrow railing on a fence, or walked a tightrope? Do you do it slowly – one foot in front of another. The urge is to finish the walk quickly and take one giant step to get to where you want. Do you feel that way, or is it just me? Anyway….
Life has been shouting at me.
I don’t mean shout at me from a distance, I mean “in-your-face-getting-your-attention” type of life. This is not really good for those of us that are walking a tightrope anyway.
I have been having to watch my walk with God, my relationships with people and my attitude. I felt like if I fall off this thin bit of timber call “life of Ruth”. I am not the only one who feels this way, as I have expressed my concern to others within my close circle of friends, I find I am not alone. I have talked to God about this, (as if I have to tell Him, right?) and He is strangely quiet. It is not that He is quiet about my relationship with Him, just not answering my questions. Yet, I am ok with that. God has always been faithful in speaking at the right time.
“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)
You see, God has me, and you, by the hand and we are not on that tightrope without help.
It is not only that life has been like walking a tightrope, I also feel bogged down in life and the business of living.
When I was younger, we lived in the western parts of Queensland. The roads we travelled were dirt not bitumen. Occasionally – yes that is right, occasionally – it would rain and the roads would become wet and boggy. To drive in some parts of the road, there would be a need to place the vehicle in low range 4 wheel drive. The vehicle would slowly move forward with as much power as it could use to get through the mud.
The pressures of life require that I get into low gear and crawl for a period of time, until I get through the muck. I feel the power of God giving the extra oomph in the engine of my being, but I question God’s ability to get me through. Have I ever doubted that before? Yes. And has He always pulled me through? Yes. Then, God is faithful.
Life isn’t always easy travelling and wide platforms. In talking to people at the moment I find that most people are feeling a little overwhelmed by their life and uncontrollable circumstances.
My own people (my family) are saying the same thing. My husband is needing a break from long hours at work, my children need a break from studies and to have a weekend resting, I am tired… bone weary. But no, my husband ended up getting 12hour night shifts, my children had to work Saturday morning, and my first weekend away in 3 years was cancelled. This is on top of everything else going on. I sat quietly and talked to God about it, do you know what scripture He brought to my mind?
It was Psalm 94:18-19
“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” NIV
This is bit that excites me. You can replace the word “anxiety” with “sorrow”, “grief”, “fear”, “heartache”, “the need to give up”, and the answer will always be the same – God’s consolation brought us joy. Great… isn’t it?
Last week, on the same day, brought news that two people that I know had passed from this earth into eternity. My heart aches for the families, including my extended family. This week I held someone’s hand and told them that I understood the desire to give up. This week I have spoken to people who are overwhelmed and scared. I have no easy answers, just to let them know that they are not alone, and that I understood. I have found out that a marriage has disintegrated and people are hurting. Whatever the struggle, please know that people care.
Life is not always a tightrope or unfavourable roads, I know that for a fact. Life is a mixture of easy and hard. Sometimes I appreciate the hard, because God helps me through. I can appreciate the easy times because I know what the hard times were like.
As Christians, we have the privilege to lift others up and encourage them, and to pray for those around you. We are here to tell people about the hope that we have within us.
Last week I used and example to a group of children to explain the need to reach out to others. I gave a candle to one child and asked him to start passing it around. As they passed it on I asked them to say, “let me tell you about Jesus”. One child baulked, too scared to hold the candle. I showed them that sometimes we need to personally take the candle for some people as they cannot hold the candle or pass it on.
Everyone needs to know about hope.
For those struggling with life can I say this –
One step in front of another. Trusting God with every step of the way. Hold on tight to the God who sees and knows.
Let me tell you about Jesus…