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narrowgate7 There is but one way. And it isn’t always easy. People always talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees. Every time I hear that, I envision myself on a familiar piece of property, the homestead of generations. The big house sits on a piece of property, flat, and grassy. Right across the field and into the woods is the pond that is surrounded by dense forest and canopy trees. Beyond that, tucked away in the tall pines, is the home of my parents. The fog that sometimes comes up over the tree line makes the forest look like it is on fire, especially in the early morning or late afternoon as the sun sets. It’s so beautiful, but also awesome and mysterious. As I see myself standing there in the openness of the field, completely vulnerable and naked to the firmament above me, I ponder the beautiful memories of that land, I thank God for the time spent there with my family, and I think of the generations that have stood in that very spot before me and wonder if they stood in the same awe of God.

Psalm 104:1-4

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

narrowgate52 The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3     and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.

narrowgate8This morning, I had a rare opportunity to be on the road before the sun rose in the eastern sky and as it peaked over the horizon and the things I saw emerge from out of the darkness took my breath away. The fog near the ground turned the color of the earth black and white, manipulating the colors that are obviously there and turning them into a hue that seems dark and uninviting. However, to look up over the clouds that touched the ground and the sky, the beauty to behold took my breath away. As drums pounded in my ears and worship songs filled the atmosphere around me, the clouds seemed to march across in the sky, fleeing the rising sun at God’s command to the beat of the music. There were pastel colors of blue, pink, purple, and almost white ahead of me and behind me the sky was ablaze with orange, red, hot pink, and crimson. It’s all in our perception. What does the mind CHOOSE to look at? Are we seeking God in the quiet stillness of the day and reflecting on His goodness or are we focusing more on the fog that is so near we could reach out and touch it.

narrowgate6Let’s take a trip back to the field, to the pond, to the dense forest line. What is on the other side? What does it really look like if only I were able to look past the trees? There is narrow gate. It is the only way to Christ and out of the billions of people who live on the planet, a very small remnant actually decide to take that small path into the woods to follow their Savior in to uncharted territory, following the Light of Salvation into realms unseen, into the darkness, into the fog. The path can become overgrown, weeds can overtake the humbleness of it all. It can be choked off by the very life that sustains the rest of the earth. It’s up to ME to continue forward, allowing Christ to shine His Light on one step, then another. Before long, after the loss of everything, after walking alone, after countless vain attempts at taking the highway to destinations never intended for me, I chose the small path into the woods. All perspective changed in an instant and I stood before the Son of God in a beautiful meadow. Eternal life and love! Seek God above all. All you have to do, is look UP.

Psalm 121:1-8 – I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.