Today's Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.’”
John 14: 6
“Way” – A pathway affording passage from one place to another.
“He, indeed, assumed humanity that we might become God.”
“Father, I am seeking: I am hesitant and uncertain, but will you, O God, watch over each step of mine and guide me.”
Several years ago, Jim and I purchased a car that had one of those navigational maps that provided directions.
We were on our way home from visiting Jim’s father and as we headed out across the Arizona desert a voice came out of the guidance system, “Take a right at the next exit.” I looked at Jim and he looked at me and said, “Do you have any idea why this system is telling us to get off Interstate 10 and go down a two-lane highway across the desert?”
I got to thinking, then asked Jim, “How does this system work?”
“Simply,” he noted. “It’s looking for the shortest route. The least number of miles.”
“I know why the voice is telling you to get off the freeway,” I observed to Jim. “There’s a route that goes up over the mountains and comes down on the other side. I bet in pure mileage it is a shorter distance. But there’s one problem – the road is awful.”
You see, our mechanical navigation system had no way of telling us what the condition of the road was. While the divided, four-lane interstate we were on showed more mileage, it was safer and in fact took less time to traverse because the route was not winding all around.
In one of Jesus’ last lengthy conversations with His disciples, He made this comment: “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know” (John 14: 4, K.J.V.).
The disciple Thomas, an individual who always raised questions and doubts, came right back with this question: “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14: 5, (K.J.V.)
I love Thomas. Honest. Blunt. Direct. “Look here Jesus, what are you talking about? We don’t have any idea where You are going or what You are up to. Furthermore, we don’t know how to get there. We don’t have directions. We don’t know the way. We’re lost!”
Have you ever felt this way?
Here we are, coming up on a New Year and you and I could look at Jesus and in total honestly, like Thomas say, “I don’t know what lies ahead. I don’t know where the path in front of me will lead this next year.” To be perfectly frank with you, I find it scary! Don’t we all feel apprehensive when we step out onto an unmarked path? Like the navigation system in our car, strange voices may direct us on paths that look like “shortcuts” to our goal, when in reality these “shortcuts” serve only to distract us and disrupt our journey. As in the case of the directions my husband Jim and I received, the trip would have been a lot tougher had we chosen to follow the erroneous advice of a navigator that didn’t know the terrain we were traveling nor did it understand the goal we had for our trip -- to get to our destination safely.
When Jesus was confronted by Thomas with the question, “How can I know the way?” Jesus replied, “I am the Way!”
In the Greek, the word “way” means, “I am the pathway. The road. The means by which you will arrive safely at your destination,” said Jesus.
In the coming year, we don’t have to find ourselves darting down some dark alley; running into a dead-end street; or going round and round in circles.
How thankful I am that Jesus has made it perfectly clear, when we choose to follow the road, the pathway, the steps He lays out – we will not go astray for we will not be driving down some false road.
When I was a young girl, my dad taught me a short song I still remember well:
“Step by step,
Step by step,
I would follow Jesus
All the day,
All the way,
Keeping step with Jesus.”
If you and I want to enter the New Year with joy, courage, and strength, let us purpose to follow “The Way” in 2010.
“Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene: one step enough for me.”
John Henry Newman
“God is best known in Christ; the sun is not seen but by the light of the sun.”
“Lord, Thou hast given us Thy word for a light to shine upon
our path; grant us so to meditate on that Word, and to follow
its teaching, that we may find in it the light that shines more
and more until the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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