Close your eyes and imagine a deep, dark forest with many thorns and bushes that can entangle you. You look and see only one narrow path. The path is clear and it will lead to the other side of the forest. The thought of the path you have taken and lived, as well as the task of continuing to cross the forest blinds you completely, just as you have been blinded many times before.
You hear the sound of a familiar voice as a person approaches you. You shake in fear. Suddenly a sweet voice says, "Take my hand and I will lead you to the other side. I am the master of this trail."
You hesitate and say, "My way has always worked. I'm in control."
However, reluctantly you touch the hand of the Master. The grip is not tight, but nice. The journey begins through the forest. You can feel the thorns touch you and immediately you feel out of control. Filled with fear, you let go of the Master's hand trying to make it through the woods by yourself. You choose an alternate path and begin to get entangled, pierced and bruised by the thorns. You become hopeless and out of control.
Suddenly you recall the Master's voice. Where is he? Gently you feel the thorns removing themselves from your battered body and the entanglement is gone. Hmmmm it's Grace.
You are still blinded but are not safely on the right path. The decision is yours to go back to your own path and continue to be entangled, battered and bruised, or to stay on the Master's path and trust the Master's hand.
"Hold my hand and I will lead you." He says.
In desperation, you grasp the Master's hand with a firm grip. Yet, somehow the forest is still scary and unknown. Blind and bruised, you hold on in faith. In fear, with a shaky voice you ask, "What's on the other side of the forest?"
The Master answers with simple, powerful words, "I know the plans I have for you. Plans for you to have a prosperous future."
With a gentle touch, the Master says, "My eyes can see what yours cannot."
Amazed you ask, "What did I dod to receive such joy, prosperity and a hopeful future?"
The Master paused and sweetly said, "Hold on to me. It is my grip that leads you. The problem is when you leave my side, get in front of me and let go of my hand. The path you have chosen in the past is scary and entangles and traps you. Faith is holding on to my hand not knowing where I am taking you but believing that life on the other side of the forest is better for you. It is the path that only I could lead you on."
So you grasp the hand of the Master and many times through your journey you find yourself entangled. Yet, the Master gently unwraps you and sets you back on the right path. As you walk with the Master, you can feel his tears fall down onto your wounds healing them immediately. Your tight grip on His hand is secure and gives you hope. Your eyes are beginning to open. And though you know the journey will be long, you know that your security lies in the hand of the Trail Master.