Walking at the Edge by Cynthia Saladin



See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, 

the cooing of doves is heard in our land.”

Song of Solomon 2:11-12  

I was sitting in front of our wood-burning stove the other day, talking with my children.  Suddenly a thought wandered in that so struck me, it almost took my breath away. In fact, I acted much like you do when you come across a dead snake: you pick up a stick and poke it cautiously, ready to take to your heels, just to make sure it’s dead. My thought was this: How do people survive in this life without Jesus Christ? How can they handle the calamities and tragedies, the stresses and pressures of the human existence? And much like poking at that dead snake, I mentally probed the idea of living a life without faith that God is in control, that He wants my ultimate good, and that He is good all the time. It would truly be awful.


I glanced at my children, thinking that I’m so glad they will not ever remember a time when God wasn’t a part of their daily life. And likewise, I felt flooded with gratitude to Mom for making God real to my brother and sister and me. How would we have ever felt the courage and will to keep going without knowing how precious we were and are to our Heavenly Father?


But it’s a really weird thing. Those of us who have entered into a covenant with our God and Savior know to whom we belong and what He has done on our behalf. But we seem to want to walk at the very edge of that relationship - accepting the blessings, begging for them at times, but resisting the pull to completely surrender our will (our thoughts, our actions, our dreams) to Him. Our thoughts dwell on the things we’re going to do. We take anxious thought for the morrow, as if the One who clothes the birds of the field doesn’t love us. We bicker and fight. We are, at the very least, sharp with our loved ones - or maybe we yell at our children, verbally demolishing them at least once a day. There is no peace.


The crazy thing is that it doesn’t have to be that way! We don’t have to live our lives like unbelievers! We don’t have to be anxious and angry, stressed out and stormy. We don’t have to live in the winter, in the cold and the rain. We don’t have to walk at the edge of our relationship with God.


Think about it. Walking at the edge is a very dangerous and foolish place to be! It doesn’t take much to push you over the edge, outside the relationship. But it’s your choice. No one is pushing you. Satan may be enticing. Your carnal nature may be pulling. But you have the freedom to get in from the cold, draw near to the fire. You have the Great God of the universe waiting. He longs to have a more intimate relationship with you. But you’re going to have to give up a few things: your fear, your anger, your pride, your anxiety, and your self-will. You are going to have to take your focus off yourself and put it where it belongs: on Jesus Christ.


I know it’s only February 1st, but I’m already sick of winter. I’m ready for the warmer temperatures of spring. I’m also ready to quit trying to conquer this life through my own efforts. I need the comfort of knowing that my steps are ordered by my God. I need liberty from my carnal nature, with its focus on self. I have to quit flirting with the edge of my relationship with God. I want the fruit of the spirit to be abundant in my life. I’m ready for flowers to bloom in my life for His glory, for the gentle sound of cooing to be heard through the land of my house. I want to live a life worthy of the Lord, thanking Him daily for the privilege of being here. 


What about you?