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Tough Shoes for a Tough Trip
By: David Deschesne, Editor/Publisher
Fairfield Journal, September 27, 2006, p. 9
When you are a prisoner in jail, you are completely secure.
For those who would give up their liberty for security, prison is the
ultimate realization of that goal.
As long as you stay in prison and don’t attempt to escape, the prison
guards will pretty much leave you alone. However,
should you break out, the entire prison staff will be sent against you in order
to get you back in.
That analogy roughly describes the life of a follower of Christ.
Once you break free from Satan’s hold, he’s going to send
legions of demons after you to get you back in.
But, what is the prison he wants you in?
Hell? Yes, ultimately, but
the roadmap he follows is the antithesis of the one to heaven: Faith in man,
instead of faith in God.
The New Testament teachings are replete with the maxim of Faith in our
Heavenly Father as the only way to become closer to Him and ultimately spend
eternity with Him in Heaven. The
prison many people are in is one where a figurative wall has been built between
themselves and God. That wall is
built with the bricks and mortar of ‘lack of faith’ and functions as a
prison for men’s souls.
When Jesus died and rose again three days later, he broke a hole in that
figurative wall and allowed people a way through.
That way is by following Him through it by Faith.
But, in order to follow, you have to get up and walk.
I’m not talking about walking physically, but metaphorically; you have
to act on trust in your Heavenly Father to get you through the horribly bad
times, no matter how impossible they may seem to be.
Now, this Faith walk is going to be tough.
Once you accept Christ as your leader, and follow Him through that hole
in the wall, all the demons from hell - the prison guards - are going to come
after you. They’re going to send
their dogs after you, they’re going to hunt you down and try to get you back
into their prison. The life of a
Christian is like that of a fugitive running from a prison toward a better
place. While there are a few rest
stops along the way, there will never be complete rest until you finally make it
That Faith walk is going to be long and hard.
But, as the promise Moses gave to Asher, “your
shoes shall be iron and brass: and as your days, so shall your strength be”1
we will be given tough shoes, too.
Shoes are made for walking; iron and brass shoes are tough.
Therefore, God will give you ‘tough shoes for a tough trip.’2
No matter how tough the trip, your shoes will hold out.
But you can relax knowing that God will always give you enough strength
to get through those tough times: “as
your days, so shall your strength be.”
God always gives you enough strength to Faith in Him during the tests
that He allows to come your way. All
you have to do is trust Him, as you walk ‘from Faith to Faith,’2
that He’ll get you through.
Yes, there will be “valleys
of weeping” along the
way. The prison guards are not going
to give up the chase. But as you
take those “valleys
of weeping” and make
them into new chances to Faith in the Lord God, you will make them a well, and
fill them with the water of life.3
The shoes in Deuteronomy 33:25 are a type of the blessed preparation
given by God to enable His children to traverse difficult roads without
discomfort. He fits our feet for the road.4
The original Hebrew word for shoes, מנעל man’al,5
is derived from its close cousin, מנעוּל
which means “door bolt” and has caused some commentators to render that
passage in Deuteronomy as “your door-bolts shall be brass and iron,” but the
original poetic imagery of the phrase indicates “shoes” as the more accurate
Trusting in the Lord, rather than man is The Way to spend eternity with
Him. But, with today’s social welfare programs, government identification
systems and tracking protocols, people are always tempted to either stay or
return behind those prison walls, trusting in man’s government for all their
“creature comforts” instead of the Lord God.
“Indeed, it is hard to learn how to live by faith.
But Isaiah insisted that one cannot live without faith.
you will not believe you will not abide”
(7:9). Faith is not an easy or
convenient path. There are
frustrations in store for him who expects God to succeed at every turn in
history. But “he
who believes will not be in haste”
(28:16). Enduring strength is not in
the mighty rivers but in “the
waters of Shiloh that flow gently”
No matter how tough the trip, you can relax knowing that you are on your
way, walking from Faith to Faith and the shoes you have been given will be tough
enough to get you there.
2. Phrases borrowed from Dr.
Gene Scott, Ph. D.
3. this imagery adapted from Psalm 83
Dictionary of Bible Types,
Walter L. Wilson, ©1999 Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. p. 365
©1962 Abraham Heschel, 2001 Perennial Classics ed., pp 91-92.