"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14
This is the verse that is written on the bottom of the painting that graces my kitchen and is shared with you in the header at the top of this page. Titled Children of the Son, it is very special to me, as my 75 year old friend, Mary, an impressionist painter, created it for me. The oil painting is very large, set in an ornate antique gold frame. It is of my five children, walking on the narrow path through a field of sunflowers (my favorite!), making their way to a church, that represents the Lord Jesus.
Mary is truly a remarkable woman of God. The Lord has used the suffering in Mary's life that He has asked her to bear, to create beautiful pieces of art. All of them are given a scripture verse, and are painted in prayer and an awareness of what God would want her to do, to glorify Him best. Mary has walked through many valleys. Her 4 month old son died in a car accident, and then years later, her only remaining child, a daughter, died of cancer. This summer, Mary was widowed. She knows what it is to suffer and struggle, but she shines with the love of the Lord and encourages me daily by praying for me and reminding me of God's truth.
As I mentioned, it represents my five children and their walk with the Lord. As a mom, it reminds me to encourage my children, to walk with the Lord, along the narrow path, trusting Him alone. As a woman, it reminds me also, of the same, during times of prosperity and times of adversity. I think that we sometimes forget, that in fact, it is a narrow road, with a small gate, that we must walk on. In the painting, the road is broad and the gate wide, that leads to where we do not want to go. But the narrow road is the one that we must stay on to experience the fullness of life that we have in Jesus. It is not easy to stay on the narrow road. It is less defined to the naked eye, and we must pray and trust the Lord to reveal each step to us. We know that it is difficult, because if it was easy, many would find it, but God's Word tells us that only a few find it.
To stay on the narrow road requires alot of faith, perseverance, endurance, wisdom and prayer. We must seek the Lord daily, accept the paths that He is asking us to walk in, and then trust Him for the direction and the end point.
As we come in to the New Year, my hope for all of us is that we would persevere in seeking the narrow road, and not give up and walk without hope and purpose on the wide road. I know that Jesus will meet us on the road that He has asked us to walk, no matter how weak or weary we may be.
"You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence." Acts 2:28. May you experience joy in the Lord Jesus this New Year, as you walk closely with Him, in all circumstances, even the darkest and most painful.