Stay on the Path

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

Psalm 32:8 NLT

A few months ago, I looked for our house on Google Maps, and I found it. I also found the tribe’s house! Zooming in, I even saw the paths the boys (our donkeys) have made in the field.

Many times, when I go outside to clean the small barn in the morning, the boys are grazing at the other end of the field. As soon as they see me, they “taste” a treat. The quickest way to get to me would be coming straight toward me. But the boys zigzag back and forth, way out of the way, and follow their path to me. This path goes all the way around and takes a long time. But the boys always stay on this path. They will graze off of the path, but when they move in a hurry, it is always on the path.

Mr. Beer, the farmer, told me that animals like to run on paths because they know that they are safe. There are no rocks or small stones hidden by grass on the path. The boys are surefooted, and they want to know that each step is safe. Staying on the path is the safe way for them to come to me.

As a matter of fact, in the winter, when the field is covered with snow, the boys will stay in the barn. They will stay in there as long as there is snow. All January and February, they just stand there at the door. They both have their big heads tilted down, and they look so sad. Why do they stay in the barn? They stay there because the pasture is covered with snow, and they can’t see the ground.

Staying on the path is safe for them.

Jesus says the same thing to us. He has made a path for us to stay on. When we walk or run on his path, we are safe too.

August Morning

Because you have helped me, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 63:7

You know it is August when the sun beams into your tanned skin, when your skin is slippery from sweat, and when you hear crickets chirping louder than the birds. You also know it is August when I take Anaiah out early for her walk before it gets blazing hot. Most of the time we are successful but unfortunately not this morning!

This morning we woke up to the carpenter coming to fix the barn. He was replacing the boards that the boys had chewed up. After I explained to Matt, the carpenter, how to donkey-proof the door (you cover up all the edges of the door with metal strips), the August sun was up in the sky.

Coming back into the house after talking with Matt, I got Anaiah’s leash on, and we were on our way. She started out fine, “healing” as she was taught to do in her puppy obedience classes. But after about five minutes, I saw her lagging a bit. Now, most of the time when Anaiah gets tired, she slowly gets farther and farther behind me, but today was different. She stayed to my left, lagging slightly behind me. Anaiah is so smart! She was staying in my shadow. She was hidden from the blazing sun. I was protecting her. I was protecting her from the sun’s heat.

I couldn’t help but test her out. When I went faster, she went faster. When I went slower, she went slower. When I stopped, she stopped. All Anaiah had to do was focus on me, and in my shadow she had a grand old time on her walk! I was the one who got all the sunshine. She was the one who got all the shade.

Jesus is like that. He walks so closely to us, that he is able to protect us too. All we need is to stay in his shadow and enjoy our walk!

Excerpted from Finding Jesus on Upside Down Days © 2022 by Jill A. Miller. Used with permission of New Growth Press. May not be reproduced without prior written permission.


Finding Jesus on Upside Down Days: Family Devotions from the Barnyard

In Finding Jesus on Upside Down Days, Jill Miller gives heartwarming, intimate glimpses of her life on the farm. But more than this, as Jill takes care of her animals, enjoying what the Creator has made, God takes her upside-down soul and sets it right-side up.   

About the author

Jill Miller

Jill Miller has spent the past thirty years discipling and ministering to students with disabilities and is committed to developing materials for teachers, parents, and caregivers who want to share the love of Jesus to use with them. Due in part to experiences with her own daughter, she has also started two businesses aimed at employing individuals affected by disability. Jill is a mother of six, wife of Paul Miller, Grammy of many, and lives in rural Pennsylvania. She is the author of Finding Jesus on Upside Down Days.

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