You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 NKJV.
I love this Psalm. One day, soon after Darryl, my husband, passed, I came across it. I stopped at the first section—you will show me the path of life. I couldn’t even comprehend the rest of the verse because I was hurting so much. But I personalized that section. I turned it into a prayer. “Father, show me the path of life”. I did not mean the expanse of the universe type “path of life”, but how do I navigate my day-to-day life without my beloved teammate? As I listened, trusted and followed Him, my life began to take a new shape, and it was good. I did not do it perfectly, but it gave me hope. I knew His plans really were higher than mine, and I could trust Him.
It’s been over ten years, and I still rely on this verse. How faithful He has been. As He walked with me through the widow weeds (literally felt like a swampy jungle of weeks to navigate)….I grew braver, stronger and more in love with my Savior. No matter where you are in your life, He knows how to show you your path. The steadfast promise of this verse is that it leads to real life. If we lean on Him, no matter how many swampy areas, no matter how many rocky roads or challenging detours, He always leads us to our best life.
The challenge to our soul is bi-fold. We must choose to trust His path, which in reality is His character. Jesus declared: I am the Way the Truth and the Life in John 14:6. The question that we must ask ourselves is, do I believe it? When the way is comfortable, clear and sunny, it is easy to say yes! But when the way seems long, dreary, and difficult, we often want to quit or take a seemingly easier road. Do I want to submit to His way? What is our alternative? To choose the path of death??? But then we are confronted by Psalm 14:12. There is a path before each person that seems right, but in the end is death. Hmmm, death or life, why do we really pretend there is a choice?
As I seek to follow His paths, I’ve even embraced the second part of that verse! In Your presence is fullness of joy. Looking back, I realize I couldn’t even think of the word “joy”. It just seemed out of reach. I feel foolish, but how did I not know that if He was leading me on this path of life—that joy would be a part of it? It didn’t even occur to me. I have found, as David did, that truly in His presence is the fullness of joy.
We have the promise that at his right hand are pleasures for evermore. I’m still waiting for what that looks like. He may reserve those for us in heaven, and if that is true, it is ok. As a younger person, heaven and its blessings seemed so far away. But as more of my friends and family move there, the closer it seems. Our life here on earth really is short. Denying what seems to be a transient pleasure for what endures is really the wisest choice, but for that, it takes a renewed mind, and a mind that is set on things above, not on things below.
This is a learning journey. I have found as I seek, ask, knock, the doors and path are clearer. Seeking His will and His path not only makes me rely on Him, but it helps develop my relationship with Him, which is a good thing! No matter where you are in your season of life, whether you have been seeking Him and His ways or not—you can begin today. Simply ask. It’s also covered under James 1:5: If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
Father, I thank you for your promise that you will show us the path of life. Help us trust that you will and can, and give us the courage and trust to follow you on the path you reveal, no matter the path. We trust that not only our destination is the best for your kingdom; but so is the starts and stops along our way. We need to grow in our trust in these areas. In Jesus’ Name, amen.