Unseen Path

by Sheila Keedy

Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the might waters- a pathway no one knew was there!  Psalm 77:19 (NL)

close-up-photo-of-dog-3397939We have a new puppy. Her name is Pearl and she is very strong-willed. (Eye roll!) She does not like to be told no and wants to go her own way.  When we take a walk she has to be on a leash as she runs away if not and we end up chasing her around the neighborhood.  (Double eye roll!)

The leash is her worst enemy.  Pearl does not like following where we lead and the leash takes the brunt of her disapproval.  She has literally dangled in the air as she’s jumped up and clamped down on the leash.  Mercy!  We are going to persevere through this and maybe one day she will come to trust that we are leading her down the best path and will follow more obediently. (And maybe we’ll be able to recover financially from the number of leashes we’ve had to buy.) 

Actually, I’m sure I’m a lot like Pearl.  Looking back over my life there have been paths that I did not want to travel.  Miscarriages, breast cancer, loss of a 17-year-old niece, loss of a parent to name just a few.  Many times though, on these difficult journeys were pathways to ministry, testimonies, sharing and caring.  Pathways I didn’t know would be there, but found hope and joy again in that part of the journey.  And best of all, growing in my relationship with my Healer, Comforter, Savior and Friend.     

Over the last several months, I have worked my way from Genesis to Kings and Chronicles.  I have read story after story in the Old Testament of people whose lives were changed by the power and presence of God.  One example? Sarah at 90 years old having a baby!  Only God could make a way for her when there seemed to be absolutely no way! As the journeys of others like Rahab or Ruth came to an end, I was ready to let out a cheer, or a hallelujah, what great things HE has done! 

Because I see it from this perspective, beginning to end, I sometimes get detached from the difficult details of their stories – the parts where they resisted the path they were on.  I revere them for being such amazing women of faith and perseverance, forgetting they would have struggled just as we do.  They were real women, with real problems and I tend to overlook the reality and pain of their difficult journey because I know the outcome.  They did not.  

Eve – experienced the death of a son. 

Sarah – had to wait for the promise of a child to be fulfilled.

Hagar – cast out and alone.

Leah and Rachel – dealing with sister rivalry.  (and jealousy over a man????)

Rahab – wondered if there was hope for someone like her. 

Naomi and Ruth – grieving the loss of a their respective husbands.

Hannah – longed for a child. 

Tamar, David’s daughter and Tamar, Judah’s wife – wondering if there would be justice for what was done to them. (should you say “sexual abuse” or “rape” for those who may not know?)

Not to leave out the difficult pathways of a few women in the New Testament, think about these: 

the shame of the woman caught in adultery,

the despair of the woman at the well as relationship after relationship fell apart,

the woman with the issue of blood searching for healing,

and the torment of Mary Magdalene before Jesus delivered her.  

Am I trying to focus on their difficulties? Not at all. What I want to draw attention to is this: they had to travel down paths that they didn’t know how long it would last or where it would end. 

We can take heart from their stories for many reasons, but most importantly because we see God was right there with them.  He didn’t miss one part of their journey.  In fact, their paths led to Him.  

Genesis 16:13  So she, (Hagar), called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” 

John 20:18 Mary Magdalene announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”

As we read their stories in Scripture, we get to see so many amazing attributes of God such as His faithfulness, grace and mercy.  We get to see that He is Redeemer, Provider and full of love and compassion.  We can be encouraged because what He did for them He will do for you and me. 

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

When it comes to our story, our journey, we are still in the midst of it.  We may not see or understand the path He is taking us on.  We struggle and resist.  What makes it worse is we don’t know the outcome of our stories like we do those of of the women in Scripture, and we want God to fix things now!  We want to know that what we’ve been through will be worth it.  But, this is where faith comes in.  Faith is believing in the unseen, the unknown.  

Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  (ESV) 

If you had asked Moses and Israel as they stood on the edge of the Red Sea what they saw, they would have said nothing but water in front and the enemy behind them.  But what happened next changed everything! 

Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land.  So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!”  Exodus 14:21-22 (NLT) 

brown-colour-dawn-environment-132428There it is, a pathway no one knew was there.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”                       2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

Whatever obstacle is in front of you, 

whatever storm you may be facing, 

whatever darkness lies ahead, 

whatever deep waters you find yourself in, 

there is a road unseen, unknown, a pathway you didn’t even know was there.   And right there with you is the Lord leading you and walking with you, step by step.  No matter how you struggle and resist, He will not leave nor forsake you.  He will remain faithful.  

Psalm 26:3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.  

One day, when we look back on the path He had us on, we’ll say along with the women in Scripture, hallelujah, what great things God has done! 

Luke 1:46-49  “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,… for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 


Using the Scriptures below, pray them for your journey.  They will comfort you and give you the courage to keep moving forward.   

Deuteronomy 31:8  The Lord, himself, goes before you and will be there with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;…

Psalm 31:14-15a But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God. ”My times are in your hand;…

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

John 8:12  Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 


Becoming a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit


I am a person who likes to read.  I usually have two or three books going at the same time and more stacked nearby waiting to be read. However, I have a problem:  I don’t always finish the books. Something always gets in the way.  It seems I get about ½ way through a book and we start a new bible study or life gets really busy or sometimes I lose interest when something better comes along.  Are you like this?  I admit it:  I AM A QUITTER.  I start things and can’t seem to get them finished.  I can also be a procrastinator or start something and wonder why I agreed to do it.  What are you thinking about quitting?  What have you quit, given up on?  Is it something small like a project, book, or bible study?  Or is it something big like your marriage, your job, or your New Year’s goals?  Did you even set a New Year’s goal?  Have you already quit?  Well, I 51ceqnhm8el-_sx322_bo1204203200_recently read a book called A WOMAN WHO DOESN’T QUIT: 5 Habits From the Book of Ruth by Nicki Koziarz.

Yes, I read the whole book.  You can’t stop reading when you are trying to find out the habits of a person who doesn’t quit.  There are several reasons why I read the book, but here are two of the biggest: (1) I could relate to the title. We have already discussed that I can be a quitter and I can procrastinate; (2) The book of Ruth is one of my favorite books in the Bible.  Who can pass up a love story when you are single and still waiting on your Boaz.  However, one thing I do know about Ruth – she was not a quitter!  In fact, Ruth over-excelled.  What can Ruth teach us all about not quitting?  This I had to learn.

If you are not familiar with the story of Ruth.  Stop right now and grab your Bible and read the book of Ruth in the Old Testament.  Or better yet go to www.Biblegateway.com and read it on-line.  It is a very short book with only 4 chapters.  But WAIT!  Don’t be a quitter and forget to come back and read the rest of this post.


Now back to the book, Nicki gives 5 habits we should apply to our lives.  You will need to read the book to learn the habits.  Yeah, I know the easy way is for me to tell you, but that doesn’t accomplish our goal – to finish what we start.  In the book she uses practical applications combined with Biblical truth to make her points.  It is an easy read.  What I liked the best is that each point has a current relevant example from Nicki’s own life and in the next chapter she uses the story of Ruth of make the same point, contrasting someone prone to quit with Ruth, one who didn’t quit.

Nicki was convicted by the verse in Luke 16:10 when she wrote the book:

He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much: and he that is unrighteous in a very little is unrighteous also in much.

Some quotes from the book that really stuck me were:

“A committed woman learns to choose what she wants most over what she wants now.” (i.e. set goals, don’t think you have to have everything now)

What is important to you?  What is important to God?

“Thoughts become words.  Words become actions.  Actions become reality.”  This is so true!

“Refinement becomes redemption when we fulfill our responsibility to wait in expectation for the Redeemer to carry out HIS plans.”

Are you in a time of refinement?  Romans 8:18 says: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” Where does your dependency rest during times of refinement, on yourself or God?

“Living under the covering of God means we are asking God to ‘see over’ our lives.” 

Am I open to the movement of God in my life?  How can I share what I have not experienced?  Am I living under God’s covering?  Am I open to him “overseeing” my life?

girl-3047297_1280One of the excuses I usually use to either to quit on my commitment or not do to something is “I don’t feel like it.”  Do you use this excuse too?  Well Nicki convicted me on this.  Just remember these are Nicki words not mine: (1) “Commitment has nothing to do with feelings; (2) My defeat comes from my thought and actions.”  Wow!  She continues on with “We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control our reactions.”  Isn’t this so true in life.  We are always reacting with our feelings.  We let our feelings take over allowing bitterness and anger to build up when things don’t go our way, or when something happens to us over which we have no control.  How about when someone else doesn’t fulfil their commitment.  How do you react? Do you get mad or angry, or become bitter?

The Bible has a lot to say about bitterness and anger and how it can affect our lives.

Job 10:1 “I am disgusted with my life. I will give vent to my complaint and speak in the bitterness of my soul.”

Acts 8:23 “For I see you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by wickedness.”

Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice.”

Hebrew 12:15  “Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many.”

Proverbs 14:16  “A wise person is cautious and turns from evil, but a fool is easily angered and is careless.”

Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but one slow to anger calms strife

James 1:19-20 “My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.”

I am the only one that can control my reactions.  I want my actions, reactions, and feelings to reflect my commitment as a follower of Jesus Christ.

I have had Philippians 4:11 posted on my desk for many years.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.”

board-928392_1280So the next time you can’t make a commitment to do something, are thinking about quitting on something you have commit to do, feel like procrastinating or letting your feelings control you, or are showing apathy.  Ask yourself, Why?  Why are you quitting?  Why are you reacting this way?  Why are you anger at that person?  Take a really hard look at why you are making these decisions. Appreciate what you have and give it some time and prayer before you react.  Are you acting as the world would have you act?  Or are you fulfilling your commitment to do what God has called you to do even when you don’t feel like it?  Do you jump into a commitment due to the pressure of others?  Are you allowing yourself to become defeated when you don’t commit, spiraling down into a world of defeat so you don’t even try?  Don’t be a quitter.  Be a Ruth.

Ruth committed to going with Naomi.  She fulfilled her commitment even when things around her looked bleak.  She could have let feelings keep her back, but she moved ahead in faith.  She didn’t allow anger and bitterness at her situation to keep her from going out and finding food, working tirelessly.   Ruth was not in the ideal situation but she kept herself open to God working in her life.  She stayed the task even when Naomi gave her some crazy things to do.  She met the needs of others around her even when she didn’t have much herself.  She kept moving forward in faith that she could accomplish what she started.  She learned to be content with the life she was given which allowed her life and situation to improve as well as Naomi’s. And in the end, God approved and gave her a husband and child.

So grab Nicki’s book and read it for yourself.  Let God speak to you.  Don’t live in defeat as a quitter.  Excel in the commitments where God has planted you.  As you read:  Let your thoughts become words, your words become actions, and your actions become reality.  Think in the long-term not in immediate gratification.  Remember:  “Refinement becomes redemption when we fulfill our responsibility to wait in expectation for the Redeemer to carry out HIS plans.”