The Bench At The Top Of The Stairs

October 26, 2003
by Mary Daniel

Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (KJV)

Except for two short culvert tunnels, our regular walking route was completely out in the open and on paved pathways, and was really pretty routine. Having hotter weather forced us to take a unique and more rigorous route, which leads down wood-framed dirt steps, across a rocky beach, and along a forested path, interspersed with bridges and stairs that gradually take us 500 feet up from the serenity at sea level, back to civilization.

Waterfalls, ferns, streams rippling over rocks, and all sorts of nature's offerings, like slugs, bugs, and butterflies, serve to take our attention away from the workout, until we're almost to the top. It is here that we have the last two longest legs of stairs, at which we must work our hardest to ascend. But beside each of these sets of stairs is a waterfall. Its beauty, and the cooling effect in the sounds of the water as it spills over the rocks, soothes one's soul, and serves to make the climb seem a little less strenuous.

At the top of the stairs sits a bench — a pew, actually, from the little church on the lot where the pathway opens up — presenting us back to the busy world. I sit a bit to rest and reflect.

How like our lives is this rigorous route. Full of ups and downs, our life may have rocky patches, hills, and plateaus. For some, serious illness plagues their pathway, forcing them to work their hardest in the last leg of their life's journey.

No matter the terrain in the trek we take, it is our faith in God that makes the difference in how we keep going. He is the waterfall that soothes our soul. He is the blessing in our relationships with family and friends. And He is the beauty in nature that often takes our breath away when we're experiencing our most trying times.

We are assured time and again that, if we keep Him with us throughout our life, as we reach our journey's end — like the walk with the bench at the top of the stairs — He will give us rest.

Exodus 33:14 – And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. (KJV)

Prayer: Our Father, Creator of heaven and earth, we find comfort in knowing that, when our life's journey is through, having walked life's path with You, You will be our "bench at the top of the stairs". Through Jesus Christ our Lord we give our thanks. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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