As a kid, the holidays have been a time of family get-togethers and crazy fun with my brothers. As I write this, I’m preparing to go through my second holiday without either of my brothers. Honestly, Thanksgiving today has no meaning or purpose besides me being off from work until Monday. I used to crave Mac and Cheese and Cherry pie; I even messed with a co-worker and asked her to cook some Mac and Cheese, but truthfully, it was just a normal response; I truly didn’t want it. Frankly, what I want to do this Thanksgiving is introduce a woman I have grown to care about more than anyone ever before to my brothers. I also want to enjoy Thanksgiving with her and everyone else sitting at the table, laughing and joking. Lawrence, my oldest brother, would be eating all the food while my cousin tries to keep up, auntie unknowingly eats the hot food, Dad and Darrick (my older brother) laughing, and Mom smiling.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
Matthew 7 13 -14
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad are the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
While I wish things were the same with the exception of happier events and new family and friends, that would be an example of the wide gate and broad road. The wide gate opens and is full of our wishes and desires of the flesh, but it is missing the well of God. It offers simple solutions, easy outs, and self-gratification experiences. So, when we see the pain and suffering of our life, we decide it is too hard to continue down God’s path. We believe that because the Father loves us, we will not experience any pain and suffering and the option of the wide gate is God’s true path for us. Sadly, the narrow gate with few choices and trials is the path that leads to life.
Job 1 13 – 22
13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[c]
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Job lost everything one by one. He received ongoing mind-shattering news about the destruction and loss of his earthly possessions. Job was on trial, not because of anything he did but because God had so much faith in him that he allowed Satan to put him to the test. Job consistently walked on that narrow path of faith, trusting and praising God along the way. Many people begged him to stop walking on his path and enter through the wide gate that could have led to his death.
During the holiday seasons, we look for miracles and hope for joy. This year, I pray and hope those with troubled and broken hearts will find and stay on the narrow thin path of life that our Heavenly Father has created for each of us. God has already spoken to you about your journey (He will never leave you nor forsake you) so trust in the light and peace at the end of your path. Do not give in to the pain and suffering, do as Job did; praise the Lord and give Him thanks even while you go through your straight and narrow path. Remember JEHOVAH JIREH: God Our Provider.
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lordc Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”