Sunday, September 11, 2016

Straight and Narrow

“Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall….” –Numbers 22:24-25 (from the story of Balaam’s donkey)

“If I’ve strayed off the straight and narrow, wanted things I had no right to, messed around with sin, Go ahead, then— give my portion to someone who deserves it.” –Job 31:7-8 (The Message)

Narrow paths are hard for Lexi. There’s no room for her to stand aside if someone passes us—and a person passing too close to us stresses her out. She does better when we can move well out of the way of passersby: into the grass, into the gutter, into the street. We want to avoid people. The narrow path is hard for Christians, too. There’s no room for us to stand aside when disappointment, worries, or bad news come our way. To avoid them, we have to move off the path. We have to stray from the straight and narrow. Balaam’s donkey tried to shrink against the wall to avoid the angel standing in his way, but Balaam was forced to confront him. Often we’d rather not face whatever’s standing in our path, but God wants us to confront it. God wants us to keep to the straight and narrow path, not to stand aside, not to avoid life’s problems, but to meet whatever challenges we encounter. Remember, he is walking with us. He will lead us past.

Dear God, Help me keep to the straight and narrow, to confront whatever comes my way, and not to try to avoid life’s problems. Amen

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