The Trails of Our Lives: Illness Takes Us On a Winding Path

“In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned; travelers took to winding paths.” (Judges 5:5-7)

The Appalachian Trail is approximately 2,184 miles long. It runs from Springer Mountain Georgia to Mount Katahdin Maine. It spans fourteen states. Thousands of people walk this challenging trail every year, children, people in their 80s, and even a blind person with their seeing eye dog has walked this difficult trail.

What would make anyone want to spend months walking across and through mountains in the heat, cold, wind, and rain? Why does anyone want to test themselves in such a way? Of course there is beauty and lovely wildlife on the trail, the interesting people you would meet, and the experience that a select few would share. But I suspect that more than anything else, people want the challenge, to test themselves, to see what their limits and abilities are.

We may never walk the Appalachian Trail, but those with chronic illnesses and diseases have their own difficult path, their own challenging trail to traverse. Just as with walking the Appalachian Trail, those with afflictions have a constant stream of challenges and trials, difficulties to overcome, new twists and turns that will reveal their ability to endure and test their strength as they face obstacles and difficulties in their path.

Sometimes we face steep, uphill climbs, and rocky paths that are difficult to maneuver through. We can find ourselves at the very limits of our strength and ability to endure. We may want to get off the path and quit the trail, but there is no quitting for us. We call upon the Lord and forge ahead, beyond our strength, abilities, and limits, not merely to challenge ourselves and test our abilities, but because this is the path we find ourselves on and finishing is not optional.

As you find your path in life difficult, when your illness seems like a mountain in your way, call upon the Lord for strength and wisdom and the ability to continue on, to keep moving on the trail of affliction.

Prayer: Dear Lord, our path in life challenges us and at times seems impassable, but with your guiding hand and grace we can finish the trail of our affliction. Amen.

About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. Affliction has caused him many difficult twists and turns on his trail of life.

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Does your affliction take you down difficult paths? What helps you continue on the challenging trail of your affliction?