"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct your paths"
Know those verses? Classic. I've heard those recited by friends countless times over the past several years. It's such a simple, direct reminder of how to live. Accept that He's smarter than you are, and let Him guide you.
Now if I could only just remember that...
But I also love this verse for its variations. In the New King James, which is highlighted above, it says "He shall direct your paths," but in the New International Version, it says "He will make your paths straight." And in the God's Word translation, it says, "He will make your paths smooth."
I don't know where I ever heard that "God's Word" version. I really don't recall ever hearing of that translation before, but I do remember coming across the wording "He will make your paths smooth." I remember sitting at a friend's house, thinking about it. They had a lovely big house with a pool, and a small water slide, and a few of us were sitting on the rocks at the top of the water slide, chatting. I would have loved to go down it, but it wasn't that kind of party. Ah well...
But I remember thinking of this verse as I looked down that slide, because I couldn't see the bottom. It curved and swerved, so when you were sitting at the top, you weren't sure where you'd go from there. Maybe left, maybe right.... all you know was where you'd end up.
And I thought, sometimes God is like that. You might not know where your path will lead, but you can trust that He will make it smooth, if you're in His will.
Well today I thought about that verse again, while on a walk with my kids. There's a nature trail near our house, so we went out to enjoy the weather (and collect some pond water for my Awesome Girl's biology experiment).
One of the places we explored was this area here:
That's a fairly steep area, but we worked our way down, and hung around and looked at the ducks and took some pictures before making our way back up.
I had a little bit of trouble going down. I was wearing good shoes, with pretty good traction, but there were so many leaves on the ground, that I knew I couldn't trust my footing. So I had to walk slowly, and carefully. Going down, my path looked like this:
But when we were all done, and ready to make our way back up, I wanted more secure footing. I wanted more traction. So that time I walked a little closer to the water, where the path looked like this:
Yup. Rockier. Rougher. Ironic, huh? But I knew that my feet were less likely to slip on that rocky ground. And I thought of this verse in Proverbs, and smiled to myself.
Sometimes, what I need is straight. Sometimes what I need is smooth. Always, what I need is for Him to direct my path.
~ "The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like the feet of deer,
And He sets me to walk on high hills" ~