walking with jesus

Posted on March 9th, 2020 by mountain girl  |  No Comments »

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“Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” Song of Sol. 8:5

“…You shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him” Deut. 11:22

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife” Gen. 2:24

Not long ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and lay there for an hour or so. I think God likes to speak to our spirit in the night, whether we’re asleep or awake (or somewhere in between), so I don’t really mind being up in the night anymore. Instead of tossing and turning, I try to be quiet and just let Him do His thing.

I began to think about walking with Jesus. I don’t usually think of that in the middle of the night, but it just came naturally, so I went with it. How do I walk with Jesus? How does He want me to walk with Him? Is there a practical way to do something that seems so ethereal, this walking with an unseen Person?

I might read a few verses and pray in the morning, but then my tendency is to focus on the daily grind of life and work. After the kids go to school, I want to get my housework done, and any artwork, photography or computer work I have. I might make yogurt or do some farm chores, and I start planning dinner. I end up buzzing through my day like a busy bee going from flower to flower, collecting nectar.

Then, when my work is done, I turn my attention toward Jesus and start tuning in to His presence. I usually go out in the field or the woods, away from distractions. It’s my favorite part of the day, and I drink in all my refreshments together—His presence, the beauty of nature, solitude, fresh air, and physical exercise. I feel invigorated and connected, and I look forward to it all day.

But as I lay there in the night, I realized something was not quite right. Jesus was dropping things in my spirit, and He was saying Step by step. It seemed like He wasn’t down with the hours that didn’t include Him. I envisioned myself taking a step, then He took a step, and we went through our day that way. Then I fell asleep again.

The next morning I was thinking about that, and I remembered how when I was little, my family went to a field day for homeschoolers. I was herded onto a field with other kids I didn’t know, playing games I had never heard of. I was painfully shy and not very good at sports, but it wasn’t too bad, and actually kind of fun–until it came to the Three-Legged Race.

Each child was paired with another, and my partner was a boy about my size. The man who was in charge tied my right leg to the boy’s left leg to make us a “three-legged person”. He told us to hang onto each other, run as fast as we could, and try not to fall down.

I was horrified, first that I was tied to another person (an introvert’s nightmare!), even worse, tied to a boy, but worst of all, we had to run in an extended side-hug.  I got through it, although we were far from winning the race.

Fast-forward 35 years, and now I was finding a gold nugget hidden in that experience! I thought of how I had to hold onto that boy and depend on him, and try to anticipate his direction, speed, and every movement. He had to do the same for me, or we might pull apart and fall down, or bump into each other and get tangled.

It seems like that is how Jesus wants to walk with me. Not apart most of the time, sprinkled with a few times of connection, but joined together, with our arms wrapped around each other. I take a step, He takes a step—we walk through our day together.

When my mind is on Him, I anticipate what His next step might be. I begin to sense what He is thinking and feeling, and I start to align my heart with His. I might not be very good at it (I still like to buzz around), and I might pull away, or take a misstep (or ten) and get tangled. But at least my heart is toward Him, my mind is on Him, and I am learning to lean on Him.

The Shulamite in Song of Solomon 8:5 comes “up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved”. I imagine their arms wrapped around each other, walking in step together. It’s a “side hug” with Jesus, a three-legged race that is more about how close she sticks than how fast she runs.

The Hebrew word devek gives the sense of being joined together, to adhere fast, to stick, and even to be soldered together.

Deuteronomy 11:22 says“…Love the Lord your God…walk in all his ways, and…cleave (devek) unto him.”

Genesis 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave (devek) unto his wife.”

God asks us to embrace Him and walk with Him this way. Securely connected, not letting go, holding on tightly. I have heard devek interpreted as a heartfelt hug.

And so, I think Jesus would like us to walk with Him in such a way that we are keeping step with Him, joined right to Him, and holding Him in a warm embrace as we go from flower to flower through our day.

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