Yesterday was a red-letter day for me. I got to hold the gym door open for a woman in a walker. Might not sound that awesome to you but let me explain.
Every day I go to the gym to exercise and everyday I am out-walked, out-paced, outrun by several little old ladies who get the door before me. Sometimes they even hold the door open for me.
Although I’ve had double knee replacement surgery, it’s taking a long time to get stronger with my walking. I’m doing all I know to strengthen the muscles around my knees. I go to a fitness trainer who works on helping me strengthen hamstrings and quads. I walk for at least an hour in the pool at the gym. I eat protein before and after workouts. I’m watching what I eat. I’m taking vitamins.
Each day I see a bit of improvement. I can walk a bit straighter, a bit stronger, a bit longer. So. when I was able to hold the door for another, to help someone worse off than me, that was a very good day.
I think the writer was thinking about me when he (or she) wrote: “Brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees. Cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet. Yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction so that the lame and halting limbs may not be out of joint but rather cured” (Hebrews 12:12-13, Amp).
It’s interesting that the writer used a perfect explanation of my situation to explain a spiritual point. In my-speak it means getting strong enough to hold the door open for someone who might have a difficult time doing so. In the spiritual it means doing the same thing, knowing the right path to take so you can point others in a more positive direction.
Actually, the scriptures have quite a bit to say about walking. They say to walk in God’s ways, walk humbly with Him, walk in the light of the Lord, walk in the light of His presence, walk and don’t faint, ask where the good way is and walk in it, walk in habitual fellowship with God and walk in love.
One brave soul even asked if he could get out of the boat and walk on water. Jesus said, “Sure, come on.” And so he did it. But then he started crying like a baby when he saw how big the waves were.
The minute he acknowledged he needed the Lord, Jesus immediately reached out His hand. This is probably the most important of all the passages on walking. Whether we are walking on a straight, smooth path or on a storm-tossed ocean, we can’t do it ourselves.
You might think you have no problem walking. Most don’t. It’s a learned behavior. But what if disease or injury or accident takes the strength from your legs, can you do it on your own?
Many circumstances can implode our perfect physical and spiritual worlds. Relying on Jesus to know where to put our foot next is so important. Notice, too, the timing of when Jesus offered help to Peter. As soon as Peter asked for help, Jesus “immediately” reached out to him and caught him.
We are all to often do-it-yourself individuals. We don’t want any help. We want to figure it out ourselves. No need to bother anyone else. Jesus knew that about Peter. Peter wanted to walk on water. He wanted to do it himself. But when he got out of the boat he learned a valuable lesson. He needed help, not yesterday, not tomorrow but right now.
Jesus was there to help him, just as He is us. Isn’t it interesting that the reason he is willing to help us is because there are others who are coming along behind us who need a path to follow?
People need some real people walking the walk today in order to catch a glimpse of the right path for them to take or even start down. People are watching where and how we walk.
They are following us as we follow Christ. That does mean we tell them what to do. It means we show them where to go to get answers. They need to see us going to the scriptures, going to God, trusting in Him, acknowledging His hand in our lives, letting Him take all the glory no matter what happens.
All people need to crawl, before they can walk or run. You can probably name those who helped you along your spiritual journey. I know I can. I needed someone stronger in the faith I could look up to and get a glimpse of where to go and what to do. Those following you need the same thing.
Are you getting stronger so you can mark a straight, smooth path for others to follow?
Will you say with me, “Here let me get the door”?