And Close the Path to Misery

Sometimes when I have trouble praying I go to my old hymnbook and look for something that will give me a jump-start. This morning I was impacted by these words from an advent hymn dated 1710. The first lines are “O come, O come Emmanuel” but the lines that grabbed my attention were in the last verse: “Make safe the way that leads on high and close the path to misery.”

I am sure a case can be made for the author to have been referring to the redemption that becomes available through the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

But today, these words spoke to me on a smaller scale. I have recognized that there is a thought pattern path in my life that leads to misery. When I allow the enemy to deliver fear along this path my joy vanishes.

My prayer today is that the Holy Spirit closes this path for me. I seem helpless to do it on my own. I am asking God to put up a detour sign on the path that leads to misery and direct me, instead, to the way that leads on high.

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3 Responses to And Close the Path to Misery

  1. Jody says:

    Ah yes. It reminds me of the story of the wonderful father. Typically called the prodigal son. It’s all about a dad with two sons, neither of whom get it. They don’t get what it would mean to actually walk in the reality of father’s love. One son wanders off in sin and debauchery, the other stays behind and tries to earn father’s approval. Reality was that NOTHING that either could do would make him love them more. Wonderfully, in the end of the story, wayward son gets it and comes back ready to participate in this relationship. Wonderful father is so delighted, he hikes up his robe (not something the patriarch typically did) and runs down the driveway to embrace wayward son and welcome him back. His son got it!!!! Nothing delights wonderful father more!! No matter what pig slop we’ve been flopping around in. Whether it is some “normal sin” or just allowing my thoughts to lead to misery. My choice is turning and coming home. We come home. He’s watching and waiting, and delighted that we come. It’s all about Who we come home to, and that makes me less likely to linger in the despair, the misery. Because He sees me as His “Pearl of Great Price”, (he did give everything for me), and because I now believe this to the depths of my being, it’s easier to turn and come home. For me, It’s THAT turning that you describe.

  2. Roselyn says:

    Thank you, Jody, for expanding these thoughts with this powerful story. It is THAT turning. I long to be able to say that it is my default navigation but I still find myself questioning this loving Father’s care, not for me, but for one I love who suffers relentlessly. I am grateful I can come “home” sad and scared. I really appreciate your response

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