I called it the boot of shame. If you ever watched Up and remember the collar of shame, you get it. A dog doesn't do anything particular to get the collar. For whatever reason, I had several friends endure the boot in the past year. I foolishly tried to amp up my exercise routine mid-December, only to have my foot tighten up. Like if you walked up a ladder to get out of a pool and your foot tighten?
But this wasn't just a tight muscle, it was a strained ligament and fallen arch. In the process of stretching my foot, I injured the nerve that runs to the big toe. So after many doctor visits, x-rays, I endured the boot of shame for a month. It is very hard to walk in. My hips were aching more. Uneven ground was my pitfall, gravel too hard to balance, ice and snow - no thank you.
I thought of Scripture to speaks to making the path level for Jesus: Isaiah 26:7, Isaiah 40, Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3,
God make the ground level for his righteous: Jeremiah 31:9.
In that boot I needed a level ground. In my walk on earth level ground is 'easier.' It may not be the road the world chooses, but I'm walking where the Spirit leads. Just as God sent John the Baptist to make a path to Jesus level for those who believed, He is sending messengers to make level paths in my heart to draw nearer to Him and be in His will. John B, as I like to call him, didn't have an easy life to the world standards. He wasn't concerned with things of this world. He wasn't successful in reaching everyone, but the ones he did reach were never to same.
How do I go about making my heart level so God can do the most work? The bumps are my self-willed desires to rule in the my kingdom. The stubborn disobedience as I cling to the world. The arrogant belief that I know how to fix me better than God can fix me. I choose the time, the way and the method, even the end result (insert crazy laugh here cause it can't happen!)
Proverbs 4:20-27 speak the truth on how to do this:
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
Be aware of what God says, keep His word in my sight and heart for they bring health. Guard my heart above all things. Keep my speech pure. Fix my eyes on Jesus. Follow the level path God lays before me, trusting Him. Keep taking each step to draw nearer to Him, avoiding turning to the left or right, which will take my eyes off Jesus and my feet from His path.
I often ask where am I making the path uneven? Where is God leading me through this maze of the world to get to Him? Am I obeying?