The Hard Path

Matthew 7:14, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

To use an imperfect analogy, the Christian path is like walking on a narrow nature trail with rocks and tree roots that twist and sprain our ankles. It is hard to walk on. Yet our comfort is that Christ is walking beside us, engaging with us in Word, sacrament, and prayer. When we stumble on the path, He stills us. When we fall, He catches us. When we go astray on the wrong, broader path, He searches for us as the seeking Shepherd lest we perish on our lost path (cf. Luke 15:1-5). The Christian path is bound to have obstacles on it, which the world, the Devil, and the flesh throw in our way. We try to go around the obstacles and find we have wandered onto the broad path. Instead, let us face the obstacles head on with Christ by our side, who leads the way.

Why is the path narrow? It is like that natural trail in the woods—few have found it and walked on it. Indeed, Christ shows us the path, but we reject it because it is hard and narrow with those rocks and tree roots in the way—it is unappealing and we’d rather make our own path in the opposite direction. Thus, the gate at the end of the path, too, is narrow. We must ever keep our eyes on Christ and hold His hand on this hard path, lest we perish.

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