“All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness…” (Psalm 25:10)
When our path is one of suffering, the words of Psalm 25:10 come alive, not merely as a platitude-like salve or falsely-consoling belief system, but as experiential truth itself.
When His chosen path for you leads through dark valleys, the Lord reveals Himself as the only real source of direly-needed light and life. You come to count, not the pain of the trial, but the outcome as joy, having experienced His proven constancy and protection (James 1:2-4).
To have known His care and love, especially when the path was one of suffering is all that really matters. You find that the unasked-for path was laid out for your ultimate good — that you might experience personally the sustaining power of His steadfast love and faithfulness. No greater good exists. For the child of God, even the paths that ache of tragedy are desired when, as a result, we see our Lord as even more beautiful.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness.
A sun-dappled hike
Picture with me the words of Psalm 25:10. Imagine a sun-dappled hike along a well-worn footpath. You enter the deep green woods and in this lovely, enchanted sort of forest, birds in their branches lift their voice in song. Leaves rustle overhead in a gentle breeze. As you walk, green, willowy ferns thrive alongside the trail. Mulch crunches under your feet. You savor the sweet, dewy scents of flowers dancing alongside your path. As you hike along this happy and heartening trail lined with majestic trees, there suddenly appears in front of you an unanticipated end-point.
The main trail has abruptly ended, and as you look around, hundreds of other paths simultaneously branch off in all directions. Each of the many branching paths is marked with a carved wooden direction-marker. But, as your eyes scan these name markers, they aren’t etched with expected names. There are no “Waterfall path – 1.6 miles” or “Scenic View path – 2.2 miles” signs.
The myriad of paths are marked by strangely identical signs, no matter the direction, or the length, or the danger of the terrain to be traveled. Both the path leading steeply and treacherously at an uphill angle and the path meandering along over gentle terrain are named the same.
The path that at first glance appears severe and thorn-strewn and the path that at first glance appears smooth and effortless each begin with the very same name marker. Each path, whether one to the left or one to the right, is identified as:
“Path of steadfast love and faithfulness.”
And so it is for the follower of Christ. No matter the type or length of path the Lord gives, He always gives a path of steadfast love and faithfulness.
For it is true, dear friends, that your path is specifically and especially cut out for you. And you alone. He plans and guards your path with sovereign power; He designs each turn and direction change for your ultimate good. He purposes that you might know His goodness deep within your soul as His never-ending love and constant faithfulness alone carry you.
Designed for you, not her
Don’t look around and covet the paths of others. When you’re tempted to idolize another’s path, assuming it grants greater ease or power, think carefully on this truth: Each molecule of your physical and mental formation, each granted talent, and each spiritual gift given to you — each and every one — was given to you as a loving gift from your Father.
Your path is very good, prepared especially for you.
Your Lord never makes mistakes. He does not cheat you. Don’t waste your precious years on this earth pining for a path to match hers; talk yourself down off any ledge of resentment at the path given you. Pleasant or pain-filled and all the mixtures in-between, for those who know and love Him, all the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness.