Straight from a Pacing Heart
By Lisa Elliott
I’ve always loved walking. It’s something I’ve done a lot of over the last year. There’s something invigorating about being in the outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, opening my heart and mind up to new sights, allowing my spirit to be set free, and exercising my body—without feeling like it’s exercise (lol).
It’s even better walking with a friend—even from a social distance! It helps to pass the time when we’re walking and talking together.
I think you’ll agree that the most important part of walking with someone is keeping in step with them—pacing yourself alongside them. The purpose of walking with someone, after all, is to walk with them. Such is the case in my walk with Jesus.
For almost as long as I can remember Jesus and I have been walking together. Often, as we walk we talk about and reflect on our journey together. There’s so much history to reminisce about regarding things we’ve experienced together along the way. Excitement causes us to pick up our pace when He introduces a new topic of discussion or He leads me on a new path to explore. As scary as it can be, knowing He’s leading the way brings me sweet assurance. “For the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:6-8).
“Look over there! Have you ever noticed that?” He says, as He shows me sights I can easily miss in my distraction and preoccupation. Everything looks so much more beautiful from His perspective when I consider the view He has and choose to see things as He sees them. Sometimes He beckons me to stop and listen, opening my ears to pay attention to things I can’t hear with all the noise that surrounds me. At times, He invites me to a nearby bench or green meadow where we can rest for a while. “Stop and smell the roses while they’re in bloom.” I hear Him say. Often, He woos me toward streams of Living Water where He refreshes my soul. I especially love the moments along the way when He pulls me close and whispers sweet nothings, meant for my ears only. Of course there are times when we walk through valleys. He’s never more close to me than in those dark, but cherished times.
As much as it’s hard to admit, and as much as I’d love to think I’ve always kept in step with Jesus, it hasn’t always been the case. There are times when I get excited and carried away on my own path of exploration. If I’m completely honest, sometimes it’s because I just want to do my own thing. I have my own path in mind. The Lord is inclined to meander and enjoy the walk. It’s me who is more prone to wander, lag behind, stray from the path, or run ahead of Him.
A friend I’ve walked with for several years well-said, “As we take this walk of faith in step with the Spirit, He often changes our course. When we give Him the script of our lives, it’s likely that He will. Each step we take leads us to the next one and the next one, and many times we end up not at all at the place we thought. This is exciting because that’s when we know the Spirit is on the move.”
Let’s just say that walking with Jesus is never more enjoyable as when we take His extended nail-scarred, loving hand and keep in step with Him.
As we focus our attention and our thoughts on Jesus (Col. 3:2), as we fix our eyes upon Him (Heb. 12:1-4), the One that knows the path we’re on and the good plans He has in store for us (Jer. 29:11), and as we trust in Him with all our hearts and don’t lean on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6), He will direct our path. When we keep in step with Him and abide in Him (John 15), He produces fruit, abundant fruit, fruit that will last like: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-25). Walking with Jesus is so much more enjoyable when we walk with Him and keep in step with His Spirit.
Why not take a walk with Jesus today?
“Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Ps. 25:4-5).
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.