Today is Good Friday, the day when Jesus followed his path-the path his life had been leading toward, death on the cross. His death, which was the ultimate laying down of self in obedience to God's will, needed to happen so that we would be released from the bondage of sin. Jesus knew where his path would lead, yet even he felt fear and sorrow. In Gethsemane, with his disciples sleeping close by, he asked for a different path, one in which he wouldn't have to carry all the sins ever done by mankind. He prayed " My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."* In the end he took the path of suffering that was choosen for him and because of his obedience we can enter the Kingdom of God.
For over a year I have been on a path, a path through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I know this path is part of life-the loss of loved ones and the uncertainty of where to go next. I'm trying to make the most of it, looking for joy in small pleasures, living with disappointment and not being shaped by it, and struggling against frustration when I've lost the vision of God's plan for my life. Even though it looks like the world we live in is coming apart at the seams, it is just a season, and in every season there is beauty to be found along the path. Even death isn't the end, there is more beauty up ahead.
* Matthew 26:39 NIV