April 13, 2012

The Path of Life

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
~Psalm 16:11

I was doing some Bible study and came across this verse a couple of weeks ago. It's amazing how God works in your heart in so many different ways and at such different times. I know I've read this verse many times, and my kiddos have even memorized this verse in one of their church classes this last year. When I read it this time, though, God was so good to open my eyes and show me a way that I can daily use this verse in my life and the life of my family.

In this verse, the Psalmist is saying that God will show us the "path of life," and this path is going to bring us into God' presence where there is joy and more pleasures than we can imagine. This is how I explained it to my kiddos. God has a path for us to follow. We can't always see what is up ahead, and so we need to trust God to guide us on that path. If we follow God down the path, it will lead us to abundant joy and pleasure - not the pleasure this world has, but even better pleasures from God. I have also told my kiddos that sometimes we may leave the "path of life" that God wants us to walk on. That is why God has given them a Daddy and a Mommy. Daddy's and Mommy's job is to help them stay on the path with God, and when they leave the path to help bring them back to it. This has been a great analogy because kids know what a path is, and they know how easy it is to wander off of a path. By explaining this verse to them, they can see that it is God's path for them - not Dad's and Mom's. We are obeying God's rules - not Dad's and Mom's. It also shows them that God has given Dad and Mom the authority to bring them back to the path through consequences.

Using this verse has made it so much easier for me to encourage my kids to do what is right. We are memorizing this verse and reviewing it every morning together. When I see one of my kiddos about to make a wrong choice, all I need to say to them is, "Are you staying on the path of life?" If they do wrong, then we discuss where and why they left the path. We remind them that if they stay on the path, they will receive blessings and joy, but if they leave the path, there are sad consequences.

It has been such a blessing to see how quickly the kids have picked up on this and how firmly it is already planted in their minds. This morning during our Bible time, we were talking about Heaven, and I was showing them a picture from a book of what someone thought Heaven will be like. In the picture were the streets of gold. My Mr. G piped up and said, "Look, Mom, there's the path of life in Heaven. It sure is pretty!" What a great opportunity to remind my little guy that God's path is not always easy, but it is always best, and there are many beautiful places along God's path. I pray my kiddos will always remember this illustration - especially in those moments when they are tempted to do things that may take them off the path and away from God's best for their lives.

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