The Narrow Way

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One of the ways that God communicates with me is through speaking a word from Scripture that seems to just land gently in my thoughts. I’m usually caught up in everyday stuff when it happens, last time it was when I was vacuuming! It’s just a short phrase or word from the Bible, and often I am unsure what it means until I look it up. When I read it in context I can see God responding to something I’ve prayed about or something I’m struggling with. Or just that He is wanting to show me something.

It happened today, first thing when I woke. Just like a whisper in my spirit.

‘The narrow way.’

It was really clear. I knew straight away it was the parable that Jesus gave about the two gates or the two roads we can take in our lives.

This is what Jesus said about it.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” Matt. 7:13-14.

I sat with God thinking about this today, especially in light of the things I’m figuring out at the moment. This narrow way. This way that is “contracted by pressure” as the Amplified Bible says, “straightened” and “compressed.” And I did some creative writing about it, about how it is for me.

How many times have I been here with these two paths before me, and one looks so alluring? I linger at it and look down as far as the eye can see, and I like what I see. As if it will make me happy, as if it will make me feel good. But as I stand there, so very tempted, there is disquiet in my spirit. I know this is not the path that God wants. And I am at these crossroads, and I turn to see that Jesus is there with me, and He lifts His hand and points to the other path. ‘This is the way,’ He says gently, ‘walk in it’ Is.30:21. And I look down the path that He has for me, and I can barely see how I will make it through, it is so narrow. There are thorns and briar at the gate, and I am afraid to go through, in case it hurts me, in case I bleed. And I cannot see where it will lead. The other way is all the more appealing, and I look back at it. ‘Are You sure Lord? The other gate is so wide,’ I say pointing at it. ‘The road is so spacious and it is so beautifully paved, it almost shines. Can You see? Is there any way I can enter through that gate, travel that way?’ And I am standing there with Him at these crossroads, and there are no words between us for a moment. But He is looking at me with eyes so full of tenderness, as if He knows me better than I know myself, and He takes my hands in His. I can barely look at Him for the love that is in His face. ‘Do you trust Me?’ He says. I nod my head.‘Do you love Me?’ He says. I nod again, and I can feel tears on my cheeks. ‘This is the way,’ He says again, pointing back to the path that I want to turn from, that narrow path,  ‘walk in it.’

The Narrow Way, by Birgit Whelan, © Copyright 2009

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~ by Birgit on April 1, 2009.

12 Responses to “The Narrow Way”

  1. This touched my heart and is so beautifully written.

    I’m sorry for the hurting. This sacrifice of your will for His is like a pleasing fragance to Him and I know He’ll walk the way with you.

  2. Your email to me concerning this piece was no coincidence. I am dealing with this conflict daily right now and I am worn out. I have taken the other way a few times in my life and felt like I can’t make my way back to the narrow way but somehow He always leads me back praise God. Please pray for me concerning this. I praise God for giving you the gift to spread His gospel in such an eloquent yet understandable way. Love you B.

  3. And the narrow way leads to life…

    We really have to learn to trust, because nothing is as it seems.

    XO

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. It really speaks to me in what I am facing at the moment :)

  5. beautiful as always! :) love ur writing & your heart! :)

    I know what you mean about this… the devil tries to convince me that going down that path even for a little while won’t be so bad, he tells me we all neeed a “break”….but the Spirit reassures me I know better. I know that GOD’S way is best. He has designed it so when we walk in His way… it isn’t the ‘easiest’ way… it’s the way that leads us closer to Him, to life, to growth…

    love! :)

  6. There is a point in The Pilgrim’s Progress when Christian has to walk the narrow path between two lions. He is naturally terrified and hesitant but finally decides to go ahead. When he has passed the lions and looks back he sees, to his amazement, that they are tied up! When we walk along His path through the valley of the shadow of death, we don’t need to be afraid because He is with us. When we understand that we realise that the lions along the narrow path are bound. How can they fight against Him? They look as though they can tear us to pieces but they are bound; that is why Jesus came, to bind the works of the enemy and set the captives free! The allure of the broad path is but a thin veneer that hides captivity and death. May we always choose to walk beside Him wherever He leads. Much love to you Birgit.

  7. Oh Birgles – you were touched by God to write that piece so exquisitely. I see ‘The narrow way’ as applying to any difficult decision we make in our life that requires us to give something up that we want or feel we deserve. Yet, in doing so, we know we will grow closer to God and become more Christlike. It is really about sacrifice.

    Thankyou for sending it to me – Charlsx

  8. Rain, that is so lovely, thank you. Some times are harder than others to make this choice, but it helps to know that Jesus will be with us through everything, and also that in the end, His plan is always the very best. Love Birgit xo

    ***

    G, my heart went out to you when I read your reply because I can really relate. Especially about the struggle being a daily one, and getting weary.
    Me too, I’ve taken the other path too many times. The thing is it always ends up hurting much more than the initial ‘pain’ of going God’s way, I’ve found. Sometimes the decision is far from easy though.
    I thought it was beautiful what you said about God always being there to take us back to the way He has for us. It is so true. Our God is infinite in grace and compassion, and meets us wherever we are when we cry out to Him. I will absolutely pray for you G, may He take you by the hand, and hold you close. I love you too friend, B ox

    ***

    Tawny, thank you for this. What you’ve said here is something I hold onto whenever I face this choice – no matter how appealing the other way may look at first, it rarely is “as it seems.” Jesus says that this way leads to destruction, and His way to life, and I trust what He says. Love and blessings to you.

    ***

    K, I’m so happy to hear that :). May God be really close to you in the things you are facing. Lots of blessings.

    ***

    Randi, thank you for your encouragement and your wisdom here. I really relate to what you said about temptation, that “it won’t be so bad” to go down the other path for a while, but this is never the case for me. Almost immediately I experience the consequences of walking apart from God, and it always hurts in the end. Jesus absolutely is ‘the way, the truth and the life’ John 14:6. Love Birgit :).

    ***

    Carol, I so love your insights. It is such a good point you make here that Jesus has bound the works of enemy, that we make walk into freedom. And also, that He is always with us.
    I love the way you described the allure of the broad path as a “thin veneer” hiding “captivity and death.” As I mentioned to Tawny earlier, it is something that God continually reminds me in these choices, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” Prov.14:12. That in spite of appearances, it’s God’s way that leads to life. Much love to you too Carol, and thanks for this.

    ***

    Charls, you are blessing. I love the way you’ve described this, and so true what you say that often the choice is difficult because we so badly “want” or feel we “deserve” what God is asking us to surrender. But you’re right, by choosing God’s way, there is intimacy with Him, Christlikeness, and His promise of peace, “to give [us] a future and a hope” Jer.29:11. Lots of love to you xo

  9. Thank you, Birgit. Your post is an answer to my prayer.

  10. Michelle, that is SO good!! :) God is so good. Love you.

  11. Birgit, as I was reading your beautiful essay I was remembering a hike we did recently. Half of the group was comprised of lively teenage boys; the other half was us ladies. Inevitably the boys went bounding ahead, purposely off the path in the most challenging of terrain. Us ladies kept following them in their tricky route until we “wised up” and saw that they were avoiding the well worn path. We chose to then take the path of our choosing, the path that offered the most security and fewer challenges. Inside I regretted my inability to bound about not worrying about the scrapes and bruises. I wished I had such a thirst for seeing the wonders of the way that I would put myself in awkward climbing positions. I yearned for the inhibitions of youth and inexperience. Why do I share this? We are told that unless we become as these little ones we will never see the kingdom of God. My plea is that I would, as you say, choose His path. May the idea of a unique journey wrought with new discoveries be the prize that pushes us to decide to trust His navigation.

  12. I love this story @ngie. It highlights so well the reward of being willing to take hold of the adventure with God, with childlike trust and joy as you say. I love the perspective you’ve given here. Happy Easter to you friend xo

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