He Will Make Straight Your Paths

Proverbs 3:5-8 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

2014-02-11 - He Will Make Straight Your Paths (IMG_6828)Rough Trail descends a twisted path from the Second Story rock shelter. Red River Gorge Geological Area, Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky.

If you plan to hike in a remote area like Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, you really should not just head out and rely on your own sense of direction to find your way; carry a good topographic map and a compass and learn how to use them.  Before you venture out on an unfamiliar trail spend time studying your maps so you have a good understanding of the route you plan to follow as well as key landmarks along the way.  Even though GPS technology is useful and quite amazing, anybody who carries one will know what I mean when I say that reception is very unreliable in places like the one in this photograph.  Finally, even if you are hiking on familiar trails, you should always let someone know where you are going, what trails you are hiking, and when you plan to be back.  If something happens and you do not return as expected, this information could save your life.

In our daily walk we too often rely on our own understanding, failing to pick up the map and compass God has given us to navigate on our Christian journey through life, the Bible.  Whether in good times or bad, we think we have all the answers and fail to seek the Lord through his inspired and infallible words found in the pages of Scripture.  Nor do we turn to him in prayer like we should, seeking him with all our heart and trusting in his perfect will for our lives.  Yet if we heeded the words of today’s passage from Proverbs 3, we would realize that it is God who “will make straight [our] paths,” instead of following the twisted paths of our own understanding.

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

Advertisements

New Web Page: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

I have added a new page to toddthehiker.wordpress.com featuring many new photos of Kentucky’s Red River Gorge along with trail descriptions, maps to trailheads, and a list of resources including recommended books and maps.  This is not intended to be a complete guide to the area, just a sample to whet your appetite.

New Page:  Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

2013-11-20 - The Hills Before You Shall Break Forth Into Singing (IMG_2886)Autumn colors along Auxier Ridge Looking Out to Courthouse Rock, Red River Gorge, Slade, Kentucky.

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.

My Grace Is Sufficient

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 – So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2013-12-29 - My Grace Is Sufficient (IMG_8633)A remote bluff with a scenic view a quarter of a mile off of Rough Trail.  Red River Gorge, Slade, Kentucky.

I always carry a well-stocked first aid kit along with quite a bit of survival gear when we hike.  Some would probably accuse me of being a little overstocked.  I suppose I could trim down what I carry a bit, but leading groups of people on hikes, sometimes in fairly remote places, I would rather err on the side of caution and be ready to handle any emergency that might arise.

There are a number of well known “pastors” out there today who preach a terrible distortion of the Christian message, known as the prosperity gospel.  Promises of health, wealth, and happiness abound in their teachings.  Following Christ does not mean we will be successful in everything that we do, not even in our ministry efforts, nor does it mean we will be richly rewarded in the form or earthly treasures.  Neither does being a follower of Christ mean that we will be free from sickness or injury.

Paul does not tell us specifically what his “thorn…in the flesh” is in today’s passage.  We do not know whether this weakness of Paul’s was an illness, injury, or some mental or spiritual challenge he was facing.  Regardless of the particular affliction, Paul was obviously bringing it to the Lord in prayer, but apparently to no avail.  God’s answer to Paul was simply, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

How many of us can actually say that we would be “content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities?”  I can only pray that someday I might be blessed with this kind of faith.  I can only pray that someday “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  May we all be blessed to realize, whatever afflictions and weaknesses we experience in life, that God’s grace, won through the blood of Christ, is the only thing we really need.

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.