I was feeling adventurous so I decided to go for a short stroll on my sister’s bush block. I’d been given instructions on how to find my way back to the house and I felt excited at the thought of exploring the bush. As I set off the excitement grew! I have missed being able to do stuff like this, during the depths of my illness doing simple short walks was virtually impossible.
The plan was straightforward at first, I simply had to follow the road but then it got complicated. As I turned off the road onto the bush paths what felt familiar quickly became confusing. I came to an intersection where there was a sign “private property” and I could see the family treehouse. The intersection had 2 options: the path that went past the treehouse or straight ahead. In the map in my mind the path back to the house was the one straight ahead. So I pressed on straight ahead thinking that I’d stumble back to the house at any minute. As I was presented with another intersection I went right thinking that I’d certainly be back at the house soon.
As the light began to fade the bush suddenly made me feel completely isolated, lost and alone (apart from our family dog of course). As the paths pressed further and further into the unknown the adventure began to feel like a test for survival. As I began to doubt the choice I’d made, at that intersection AGES ago, I had to choose to press on or to back track to that sign. A few more steps and I realized I simply had to turn back. As I made my way back I stated to doubt the way back, in the fading light none of the paths looked familiar.
My communion with God became a desperate prayer for guidance. I declared that God was the light to my path:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” PSALM 119:105 (Amplified).
A song started to sing in my head: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. When I feel afraid, and think I’ve lost my way. Still, you’re there right beside me. Nothing will I fear as long as you are near; please be near me to the end. I will not forget Your love for me and yet, my heart forever is wandering. Jesus be my guide, and hold me to your side, and I will love you to the end. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. You’re the light unto my path. ‘Thy Word’ by Amy Grant.
Finally! I came back to the sign and took the path that wound past the tree house (which I couldn’t see by this stage). As the light faded even more I was grateful that the path was quite wide and therefore defined. Then suddenly the water tanks I’d been expecting to see peeked out at me from the bush. I was so grateful that I’d made it back! I collapsed into a chair and quickly gulped down water.
That night as I snuggled down under the blankets I was extremely thankful to be sleeping in bed and not the bush!
Blessed be the LORD, my God, for He has heard the voice of my passionate pleas for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my impenetrable shield! My heart trusts, with unwavering confidence, in Him and therefore my heart greatly rejoices! I can jump for joy; burst forth with ecstatic passionate praise; and shout and sing my thanks to Him for I am helped! The Lord is my unyielding inner strength; Mighty Protector; and He is the fortress of my salvation. Bless Your inheritance! Be my shepherd, keep leading me forward and carry me forever! PSALM 28:6-9 AMP, MSG, ESV, NCV and TPT paraphrased
As I reflect upon that adventure I pray that in life I will follow the little signs and promptings God places in front of me, which will lead and direct me along the path He has set for me. I pray that my pride won’t stop me from backtracking when I make a wrong turn and need to retreat. May I be continually grateful for the guidance God provides.
“He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure, and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name.” Psalms 23:2-3 The Passion Translation