Life is nothing but a journey. A one foot in front of the other endeavor that leads us down familiar and sometimes not so familiar paths. Choices guide our steps toward certainty as we focus on God or doubt when we believe we can find the way on our own.
I write about pathways and our steps to get from here to there frequently. If you have visited here before, you might sense a common thread of words weaving through the paragraphs to come. But, even though the outline rings true, the lesson is one that is just now forming and making its way to the surface.
This week, we pause, as we make our way to the cross. The hope and joy we embraced as creation sang its song on the way to the cross looks very different. The story that gloriously began its ascent into our hearts takes a sudden turn when God creates man and woman.
If you have read Genesis 1, you gain a picture of God’s delight as He makes the heavens and earth and all it contains. And in order for the story to be complete, God creates man and woman. The story takes a turn quickly just as the Author planned.
Because of free will, Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge and nothing was the same. Shame, disappointment, pride, and a host of other sins entered the world. Immediately, Adam and Eve cover themselves and hide from God. Creation became the Fall because of one choice and the pathway that was marked with rejoicing became pockmarked with bad decisions.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9
The path to the cross not only begins with creation, but continues to where Adam and Eve embraced darkness, mistakenly believing it would lead them to the Light. The story does not end with the Fall. In the confusion and wish to remain hidden, Adam and Eve hear God call out, “Where are you?” When we find ourselves astray and veering in the wrong direction, God is calling for us too.
We are never left alone. We may choose to hide because shame overwhelms us, but God chooses to be with us even in our mistakes. This is the gift of grace and mercy. The God who created Earth and who also lovingly wrote man and woman into the story of creation, knows everything about us and still loves us.
This is what God declares over all of His children:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3
God will choose us over and over and fight for us just because He is God. The path to the cross still ends with the sacrifice of Jesus. When our own journey is cloudy and the road ahead is not clear, the end still remains certain. The cross awaits Jesus’s arrival and stands strong as a beacon for our own lives.
What I know is that we all must fall before we can live. It is in the Fall, with our face buried in the dust of the footsteps of Jesus, that we see the reflection of what Jesus sees in us.
Here are some lessons learned on the way to the cross:
God’s creation is a foundation. It is a beginning like no other. A majestic breakthrough into new life for all. But as creation reveals itself, there is darkness lurking ready to pounce.
What is all light and glory shows faint shadows. It is part of the mystery and beauty of creation. In the reveal, man and woman make a choice and darkness sweeps in. Sin rears its head and nothing is the same.
The walk to the cross begins with creation and continues with the Fall. The promise is still strong and true: Jesus died for you and me and wiped away our sin. The victory is won and our walk to the cross ends with Jesus as we choose Him time and time again.In the Fall, with our face buried in the dust of the footsteps of Jesus, we see the reflection of what Jesus sees in us. #TellHisStory Click To Tweet
Today we continue our walk to the cross. Let’s rest in the promise that Jesus is still waiting for us. Together we can walk in gratitude that Jesus’s sacrificial love saved you and me.
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Good afternoon, Mary, what a beautiful post. Thank you for reminding me God calls us out because He wants to see us. I will carry your reflections on creation as I travel this weekend. May God bless the work of your hands this given day. In Christ, Julie
It is always so sweet to see you here and have you join in the conversation. God does call us closer to Him as a way for us to know Him better and find the truth that we so desperately want. Praying for you as you travel this weekend. May God bless you as you serve him and others.
Thank you so much for your prayers. And I forgot to say what an adorable bundle of joy your daughter and her husband have. Until next time dear Mary 🙂
You’re welcome! The little bundle of joy is my new grandson Jack and his mom is my daughter in law and his dad is my son. I have found a whole new kind of love.
Wow — -this line: we all must fall before we can live. It stopped me in my tracks. So true, so powerful and the line that follows it, just as powerful. I so appreciate your posts as we have been journeying towards the cross. 🙂
This means so much coming from you because I know your heart. Thank you for your faithfulness and willingness to encourage as well as show me how God is in my words. Love you friend!
O! THAT WALK. I remember during the years of being a bad girl, I thought if I just didn’t talk to Him, He wouldn’t see me and I would be in hiding. Then HE found me, stuck in the mud of the pigpen and opened His arms – stepped in the mire and helped me out. O What A Savior.
I have been on that walk too. I am still humbled to know that He was there all along and still pulled me out of my mess. Thank you for always pointing me to God in your writing and comments. You are a blessing.
Such beautiful words, Mary. This especially: “It is in the Fall, with our face buried in the dust of the footsteps of Jesus, that we see the reflection of what Jesus sees in us.” Amen. Where we see murk and mire, He reflects His image back at us, reminding us He paid it all. May I learn to embrace that beautiful truth more and more when my face is buried in the dust.
Jesus is all the reminder that we need but I somehow still need lessons to remember this. I am praying with you to focus on the truth and to do what it takes to remember. Blessings, sweet Anna!
I’m so thankful we are never left alone! That walk to the cross can be lonely if we forego companions, and especially if we try to do it without Jesus paving the way.
I pray I remember that I am not alone, but also to ask for help along the way. May we walk to the cross knowing we are loved and provided for every step of the way.
Thank you for walking us to the cross. I am so thankful he is always waiting there for us.
You’re welcome! I’m agreeing with you and thanking God that He is always there waiting for us.
This is a beautiful post, Mary! It’s so encouraging that even when shame causes us to hide from God, he continues to call for us and seek us out and he never gives up on us!
Yes! We are pursued daily by God just because He loves us. It is humbling to think that even in my mess He never gives up on me. Blessings on your week.
I love how you’ve brought such a powerful connection with the fall and the fall we make as we come to Jesus. I especially loved this line, “It is in the Fall, with our face buried in the dust of the footsteps of Jesus, that we see the reflection of what Jesus sees in us.” Powerful stuff, my friend! Pinning and tweeting!
Thank you for your encouragement, Beth. Lent has been quite a journey so far. I love what God is teaching me.
I like the way you phrase it–we must choose the way of the cross time and time again. Our human nature rebels at doing the hard thing, the difficult thing, but Jesus promises to walk with us as we travel with him.
I rebel at choosing the hard things so writing this today was one huge lesson for me. I know that in order for me to grow in my relationship with God, I am going to have to choose the hard. There is no way around it.
Thanks for the encouragement, Mary. I was thinking along similar lines when I was trail running this morning. I came to several places where the paths forked and I hesitated, not knowing which way to go. It’s the same in our lives. God will show us the way to go if we slow down and listen to His small still voice echoing in our hearts.
Amen! There is something so powerful about pathways for me. It is the fact that there are choices, but it is also the beauty and redemption that happens along the way. It’s good to know you were thinking similarly today. Thanks for being here.
“We are never left alone. We may choose to hide because shame overwhelms us, but God chooses to be with us even in our mistakes. ” I’m so glad God always chooses to be with us. I love how Psalm 139 brings this out so clearly. It is really comforting to know there is no place we can go that He will not be with us. We don’t need to fear because He loves us and is always ready to forgive. Blessings to you, dear Mary! xo
We are indeed blessed to know God because He delights in us. And I’m glad you connected us to Psalm 139. It is my favorite. It speaks so well not only to God’s deep love for us but that He will never leave us. Thank you for being here, Gayl! Blessings!
This is so encouraging, Mary. “God chooses to be with us even in our mistakes.” What a gift and a blessing that is!
Thank you, Lois! Isn’t it reassuring that God chooses us over and over no matter what?
Thank you for sharing your reflections on the cross here today. I have not been as consistent as I would like in remembering Jesus’ death during Lent, but I am trying! (I’m trying to read one chapter of Mark each evening before bed, but some nights I forget!)
I am the person who also is not as consistent as I wish I could be. When I write, God is gently reminding and teaching me of all those things I am forgetting. That’s one of the reasons I love to write. God knows your heart and loves you dearly. Praying that on those days we forget to look to God first, we embrace grace to reach out to God as soon as we remember.
The gift of His grace—new are they every moment when we turn to Him. Lovely post, Mary. Something I was led to ponder recently about Jesus’ walk to the cross was that He was given someone to help Him carry that cross at one point. God is our helper too, even sends us others to help us, on that journey to the cross
Thank goodness for the gift of grace. I am nothing without it because I fall over and over. We are blessed to have a God who wants nothing more than to see us succeed. You have pointed out something that I know I forget at times–Jesus did a have a helper. We are not alone on this journey and that provides such reassurance.
Thanks, Mary, for these thoughts, and yes–I appreciate that so many of your posts come from your walks along wooded trails. It really helps me to think of my life with Christ as a journey along a trail, because I SO need for Him to go before me and break trail. Most of what I worry about (evidence of the Fall, as if I needed it!) could be quickly dispelled if I kept before my eyes the truth that I am following a Savior who bore a cross for me.
I also need Jesus to walk before me. I think I know the way and find that I really don’t. We are given so many “do overs” in life and even when we fall, God picks us back up just because He loves us. I pray I look to the Truth in first and know you will join me in praying that God leads us well.