Peeking over the rim, astride a saddle somewhere deep in the Grand Canyon, I have never been more delighted to hear details about the sure-footedness of a mule. Why are they the beast of choice if taking a treacherous journey? You may be as surprised to learn this as I was.
Unlike horses whose eyes can only see their front two feet when glancing downwards, the mule’s eyes are set back just a quarter of an inch further in their skulls due to their half-donkey heritage, and this donkey DNA not only makes their legs thicker and sturdier, it also allows the mule to see its hind feet as well as its forefeet. That quarter of an inch makes all the difference. The mule knows exactly where it places all four feet with every step. It rarely stumbles because the front end as well as the rear end know precisely where they are headed.
What can we draw from this spiritually? How do we as humans keep from stumbling? How do we become “sure-footed” spiritually speaking? Scripture is very clear about this:
1. We need to read God’s Word:
“Through your precepts I gain understanding; therefore I hate all false ways. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” Psalm 119:104-105
“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
2. We need to keep our eyes on Christ:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2
“It is the LORD who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
3. We need to have faith that Jesus is all powerful and He knew where He came from and where He was going and will lead us there safely too:
“...fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God…” John 13:3
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6
“GOD, my Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet swift as those of deer and enables me to tread upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19
4. We need to feed on Him and gain strength in the Sacraments and prayer:
“‘I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” John 6:48-51
“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Jesus is He who makes us “sure-footed” even on life’s most rocky terrain. Focus on Him, rejoice, walk in faith and He will keep you on solid ground.
“To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory, to the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25
You know that the paths in life are not always smooth. Thank You that Your word states that even when this world does not feel solid beneath my feet, You are Solid! I can always trust in You and Your Word to lead me to stable ground. Please give me the grace to keep my eyes on You so that I may not stumble. Help me to trust in You always. I need You to be my strength and my guide, for without You I am utterly lost.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.