Following Jesus is a lifetime adventure. It requires risk and experimentation. Courage is necessary to increase our faith, hope, and love along the journey. We don’t know what life will bring to us—surprises that both overwhelm us with joy and sorrow.
So how do we know the way? A long time ago I heard a story that I’ve contemplated many times in my life when I didn’t know where the path I was on would lead. The story goes as I remember it like this: One night a father decided that his daughter was old enough to go to the barn and feed the horses on her own. But she was afraid.
So the father took his daughter out to the front porch of the house and lit a lantern, held it up, and asked her how far she could see by the lantern’s light. She said that she could see
halfway down the path to the barn. “Good!” her father responded. “Now carry this lantern halfway down the path.” The young girl did as she was told and when she reached her destination, her father called out to her, “Now how far can you see by the lantern’s light?” His daughter responded that she could see all the way to the gate. “Great!” her father responded. “Now walk to the gate.”
Once again the girl did as she was told and when she reached the gate, her father asked, “Now how far can you see?” She responded that she could see the barn. “Wonderful!”
replied her father. “Now walk to the barn and open the door.”
The girl did just as her father told her and finally she shouted back that she was at the barn and could see the horses. “Excellent!” her father called. “Now feed the horses.” And
he stepped back into the house.
God is like the father who gives us light for now and for the next step. God’s light doesn’t illuminate the whole journey, just one step at a time. The girl trusted her father to get her safely to the barn; and we, too, must trust God to get us safely to the next destination, decision, turning point, opportunity, or experience along our path.
When you are uncertain of the path ahead, how do you trust to take the next steps?
Taken from A Faithful Heart: Daily Guide for Joyful Living by Sally Dyck (Abingdon Press, 2010)