I Walked Today…

        I walked…today. Walking with my Dad gave me a sense of belonging and home. I tried to match my strides to his and often fell behind. For years I tried to keep up my ‘short Dutchman’ Dad. I remember our last walk. His stride no longer exceeded mine. After seventy-five years of walking, his shortened breaths and weak heart impaired his stride. I matched my pace to his slower steps. This Dad handed out unconditional love and discipline from his heart. When I was eight years old, I couldn’t sleep.  Frightened by imaginary soldiers who might be lurking outside my bedroom windows in the dark, I cried. Dad took my hand in his and we walked outside to the back yard. Dad explained, “There is no one in our yard.” I felt so safe when Dad held my hand. 

         Mother taught me a song when I was sixteen that caught my heart. I Walked Today where Jesus Walked… We follow in the Footsteps of Jesus and our sinful hearts cannot keep up with His strides of purity or His incredible love. He walked on earth for thirty-three years. He taught love and adoration. He was betrayed and scorned, whipped and crucified. 
         How many steps did Jesus walk from the time he was a little boy in Nazareth until his last walk up Golgotha Hill? Did Jesus grow weary? Did he grow impatient with those He taught?  He carried a heavy cross, made even more heavy with our sins up the last hill?
         How did Jesus rest? Where did he rest? What was His purpose on earth? Ask Mary and Martha, ask the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration. I often wonder what it would be like to walk where Jesus walked in Israel.  It is possible to walk where Jesus walked, but there is more to walking in Israel and being where He lived long ago.  We can walk with him now.  We can put our hand in His and walk in faith, knowing we belong to Him.
         Jesus knew the faith of Noah, Abraham, Enoch, Joseph, Jacob and all the faithful believers through the eons of history. Jesus treasures humility, trust, and faith. When we choose to follow in His footsteps and pick up his cross as we are commanded, Jesus smiles.
         When Jesus said, “It is finished!” as He hung on the cross. Our way to God was finished. Death will overtake us all, will we be able to say that the tasks Jesus gave us while on earth, and it is finished. When we follow Jesus, there are no exits from His Way for us.  Other pathways may tempt us to change our decisions to follow Jesus. Once we decide, God writes our name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. 
         I didn’t realize the real lesson that Dad taught me when I was young. Finally, it became clear, My Dad taught me to match my strides to his, as it was his way of pointing to the cross and with Jesus.
         Dad gave me a lifetime of challenge to walk with Jesus, each day and in so many ways.  And it takes a lifetime of walking in the footprints of Jesus to come to the portals of everlasting life and know the Presence of Jesus, face to face.
         As I write these words, I am thinking of my brother, Gene. I learned just hours ago, Gene is with the Lord as of today.  He no longer has physical difficulties; he was released from all the pressures and cares of this world.  Gene’s lifetime of walking with Jesus – is really beginning.
         Each time we pray, serve, give, and share Jesus in His Name, we walk with the Lord. Peace from above descends on our souls, even when we are misunderstood or shunned by others, for Jesus holds our hand.  When we love the unlovely and unforgiving, Jesus forgives us our trespasses and holds us even more tightly. When we encourage others, our faith in Him becomes ever more dear. When we pray, we bow before our Lord in humility, just as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane.
         I may never see the Galilee River, or stand on Golgotha’s Hill, or view the rolling Jordan, but choosing to follow Jesus, is my ultimate desire. It isn’t the environment where His Love Grows, but in my heart, as I share with others the intense love Jesus has for each of us. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.Matthew 16:24
         Our walk with Jesus is forever and always new – a glorious adventure with Him who made us.  When I put my hand in His, I know I am safe forever more.
I walked today where Jesus walked, In days of long ago. I wandered down each path He knew, with reverent step and slow. Those little lanes, they have not changed, A sweet peace fills the air. I walked today where Jesus walked, And felt His presence there.
My pathway led through Bethlehem, Ah, memories ever sweet. The little hills of Galilee, That knew His childish feet.
The Mount of Olives, hallowed scenes, That Jesus knew before, I saw the mighty Jordan roll, As in the days of yore.
I knelt today where Jesus knelt, Where all alone he prayed. The Garden of Gethsemane, My heart felt unafraid.
I picked my heavy burden up, And with Him at my side, I climbed the Hill of Calvary, I climbed the Hill of Calvary,  Where on the Cross He died! 
I walked today where Jesus walked, And felt Him close to me. (Geoffrey O’Hara)

Dedicated to D Gene Siemens

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