Trail Markers


His narrow path is the only one that will lead us safely through life's wild forests and home to our eternal destiny.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road 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.”  Matthew 7:13–14 (niv)

A few years ago my husband and I hiked a remote area of the Ottawa National Forest. We’ve done a lot of hiking, including sections of the Superior Hiking Trail, so we felt fairly confident. But the old-growth forests provided a new experience. Instead of clear paths cutting through thick underbrush, we found stretches of huge trees in all directions, with smooth forest floor coated with a bed of fallen leaves. No dirt path visible. Nothing to indicate which way to go, except for small trail markers nailed to trees.

At first, we could scan into the distance and spot the next marker and know which way to head. But sometimes trail markers were missing. We found several broken off, or resting in the dirt near the base of a tree.

When the trail seemed to disappear, I forged ahead. Eventually I pulled to a stop. “I have no idea where I’m going.”

My husband muttered, “That never stops you.” We backtracked to the last marker and tried a new direction until we found the elusive next symbol.

Our hike that day reminded me of the adventure of following Christ. He might give me a glimpse of the final destination, but most of my life journey, I’m aiming just for the next small trail marker up ahead. My steps lead through rocky terrain, beautiful vistas and swampy bogs. Often God’s guidance is as clear as the white diamond markers on tree trunks, giving me courage for tough climbs and wet slogs. Other times, I struggle to see the path. I flounder in a likely direction for a while and then need to backtrack a bit, stand still and listen until Jesus gets me back on track. His narrow path is the only one that will lead me safely through the wild forests of my life and home to my eternal destiny.

FAITH STEP: Ask Jesus to show you clear trail markers for the next step in your journey on His path.

Written by Sharon Hinck

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