A Reason to Shop for Shoes
Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious.
Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace. (From Paul’s letter to the)Ephesians 6:13-15 TPT
I was ill-prepared when I set out on this little journey. The sun was high in the sky, the air crisp and warm with a slight breeze. At the end of the trail there are waterfalls, clearly marked with an orange star. But I will not make it there. My hiking boots are safe and sound on the other side of the continent in the dark of my closet, as I slip and slide in my black Adidas on the hard-packed snow and ice that carpets the trail.
I will make do with a large granite rock and the babble of the brook intermixed with the occasional car on the road that runs parallel.
You see it coming, don’t you? The weaving in of the analogy of wearing the wrong footwear on the path of life. I am dressed well for a casual stroll on the sidewalk around the lake or sitting in a chair and looking up at the mountains. But to actually go there, up and winding, my shoes are nothing more than inadequate.
Is this why there are so many jokes about women and their shoes? We know that what supports our feet prepares us for the job at hand. My gardening clogs wait for me by the back door to shield me from the soft soil, the Georgia red clay, the water from the garden hose. Silver high-heel sandals wait in their box to take me dancing at a wedding. My trusty black knee-high silver-stud boots come out with me when the day will be long and the job will be hard and I need a punch of authority.
This is no inconsequential matter – this decision about what to slip our feet into. If our feet are prepared, we will make it to the end of the trail and set our eyes on the waterfall.
Paul knew this as he sat in a Roman prison (I have heard) and observed the guard next to him. The guard’s feet were protected for battle and enforcement of the law of that land. There would be no slipping and sliding as he fulfilled his responsibility.
I wonder what Paul was wearing? His feet had rushed from temple to town to tell his story of a God come down to trample down the thorns and brambles. This God Paul had encountered had slipped into human skin to walk across raging seas, to wash the dirt away from the weary feet of his companions, to stumble under the weight of a heavy cross as his bare feet found their way up a hill called Golgotha.
The sun is slipping behind the trees and my granite has turned from warm to cold. My shoes cannot take me to the top, but they can take me where God has prepared me to go.
Today my feet are prepared to take me from desk to rock to table to chair; solitary places where I can put pen to paper and slowly, thoughtfully write. I write of ancient days and the lives of women and men who walked much harder roads than I walk. Women and men who encountered a powerful and loving and amazing God who directed their feet along a slippery path.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding: In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6 ERV
A small note here: there are more accurate translations, but I learned this passage from Proverbs as a child, and it comforts me more than ‘he shall make your paths straight’. I have decided I don’t care if my paths are straight - as long as He is leading me.
Questions: Does it surprise you when God leads you into unexpected places? Do you rely on your own strength and preparedness, or do you trust God?
English Revised Version, 1885Section Headings Courtesy BereanBible.com
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