"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground." (NIV) Psalm 143:10
Today is Palm Sunday. I love the vision of this Sunday - people waving their palms in jubilation, honoring our Lord. There is so much to be said of how Jesus entered Jerusalem that day - on one of the most humble beings - a donkey. Not a camel, not a majestic being - but a humble donkey. Certainly says so much of our Lord.
Today's post, though, isn't about palms or donkeys. It's about ground - the ground we walk on. As we enter into this Holy Week, there is so much to consider, the people, the places, the events. My heart took me, though, to the ground where Jesus walked. This is where I would like to take us for a brief moment.
I have always been fascinated how a slight incline in terrain can make it so much more difficult to walk. Not that I'm an avid walker, but I do realize that walking on level ground makes it so much easier to take that walk, whether it is walking the dog or walking through a store. As soon as the terrain shifts, and an incline is introduced, the walk becomes slightly more difficult. Move the walk to a stairwell, a hiking trail, or a mountain, and the slight level of difficulty changes dramatically.
I find my walk with my Lord to emulate that vision. When I walk close to my Lord, when I stay close to HIS will and walk in HIS ways, I am on level ground. The path is defined and the walk is less of a struggle, not difficult at all. As soon as I turn my sight off Jesus, the path becomes tough terrain - the walk is more of a chore and less fulfilled. When my eye is off Jesus, struggles are enhanced and my mind wanders to difficult scenarios. I give an opening for the devil to enter and lead me on a difficult path.
Now let's look to the path of our dear Jesus as he walked to Golgotha. After all Jesus had been through, the taunting and the beating, the ridicule and the bashing, he then carried that cross. The path that He took with that cross began on level ground, but as the journey toward death drew closer, the climb became greater. As Jesus came closer to taking on the sin of the world, the journey became increasingly difficult. In Jesus' case, the walk on tough terrain was a chore, it was His mission, it was the reason He came to earth. He came to take that long difficult walk for you and for me - so we wouldn't have to take that horrible walk. He came to take the horrendous, inclined walk so that our walk could be on level ground.
The next time our lives take on a walk that is more difficult, that is filled with mountainous terrain, remember that at the top of that mountain is level ground. At the top of that mountain is Jesus, our Savior and our Strength. With simple faith, the Holy Spirit will lead us to level ground - a path that is easier to walk with Jesus by our side. This week gives us the unique perspective to relive what our Lord has done for us. From the time he entered on a humble donkey, through his walk through the temple, the last supper with his disciples, his walk up tough terrain to Golgotha, and then his resurrection from the tomb, may we be grateful that Jesus was willing to take that walk back then - and still willing to take that walk with us today.
"Oh Dear Jesus, we thank you for taking us on a walk to level ground. Although our journey may take us through tough terrain, we know that you are walking right beside us, and will help us to get past the rocky road to the level ground. Let us be mindful of each moment throughout Holy Week. Although times can seem bleak and dark, we know what is coming - the triumph you have over sin. Hosanna, Jesus! Hosanna in the highest!"