“I’ve watched your walk,” she said. “You’ve chosen a hard path.”
As she spoke I thought, “I’m not sure I chose this path — at least not consciously. Could it be that I was chosen for the path?”
Truthfully, as look over my life, it seems so far from what I pictured on the screen of my yester-dreams. The script I wrote for the docu-drama entitled My Life has been revised and edited, then revised and edited some more. I had cast myself as the leading lady in play with quite a different story line, with quite different actors, different subplots, and many different outcomes.
No, I hadn’t chosen this path, had I? And if not, how did I get here?
Was it the prayer that I began praying some years ago — in fact, have prayed over and over again since the day I had an encounter with Love Himself, a life-changing encounter that caused my heart to cry, “I want to know You more”? I wanted to know what it meant to live the words “I am my Beloved’s and His desire is towards me.”
It was that prayer that, I now realize, set me on this path. It’s not a path that I ever thought of as “hard.” It’s just the path down which my ordered steps have led that the Lord might answer my heart’s cry and reveal Himself to me in ways I’d never have known had I gone a different route. It’s the path that leads to my ultimate Destination — a place deep within His heart, a place of knowing, a place of rest. And I am still learning to walk it out day by day.
I must admit that there have been times I’ve asked, “What if?” What if I’d prayed a different prayer? What if I’d made different choices? There have been moments that I’ve wondered what my life would resemble if I possessed all the substance of my youthful dreams. Have even questioned if some of the sacrifices that I’ve been lovingly asked to make have ultimately been worth it when I look around and see others enjoying some of the things I had always longed for and now may never realize. And if I may be candid, I have, on occasion, thought the return not worth the investment.
And just about the time I would bemoan the seeming losses, the Father so graciously and tenderly reminds me of His Son, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). He had truly chosen the “hard path.”
“I chose the path,” He said, “knowing that many would reject Me, knowing that many would choose to live and die in their sins, knowing that some would deny My very existence, call Me a myth, a charlatan, a fraud. But still I chose to walk the path which led to the cross because at end of that path and every step along the way, I saw you, My Child. You were the joy set before Me. I could have looked at all who would reject Me, all who would despise Me, beat and abuse Me and said, ‘The return doesn’t seem worth the investment,” But I looked at you and My heart leaped with joy because I knew you would come.I knew you would believe. I knew you would follow and you, My Child, are worth the investment!”
He chose the path that was chosen for Him and followed it to its perfect end.
And so I walk this path for the joy set before me — the joy of possessing and being totally possessed by Him, the joy of knowing Him in ways I may never have known Him had I followed my own course or performed my own well-scripted play. The joy of knowing true love in the Person of Jesus Christ. The joy His grace beyond measure and unspeakable joy. The joy of His presence and of holy intimacy without fear or shame. The joy of His glory. And the joy of seeing Isaiah 33:17 become a reality, for my eyes have seen the King in His beauty.
And He has been, and ever remains, worth the investment!