Walking around the lake in winter is very different. Things that are easily noticeable in most seasons may be covered in snow. The plant life that is visible looks barren. There are fewer types of wildlife, and those that remain behave differently.
Circling the lake today, I was amazed at how many tracks were clear in the freshly fallen snow. Mine were the only human footprints, but there were many solitary and group trails that led in one direction: toward the water.
The path the ducks and geese took to get to the water was made plain in the snow. I had never wondered about the specific route these birds take to the water, but with tracks in the snow, it was easy to follow their exact steps.
I wondered if the snow was a hardship for the birds. Were their feet cold as they stepped through the wet, frigid moisture? Did they hurry to get to their destination?
Did the slips I could see on the steep slope into the water upset them? Did they squawk when they slipped?
Many people would agree that regarding weather, cold and snow are a hardship. In our lives though, there are many kinds of trials to be endured.
Oddly enough, like those ducks leaving footprints in the snow, we leave the most visible trails when our paths take us through hardship. Others can see our actions and our path more clearly when they trail through hard times.
It presents a challenge to be more careful of our steps. As a Christian, my real help comes from God. But is that the first place I go in difficult times? Or do my footprints show confusion, heading in many different directions?
Like the ducks, in fair weather, we can do many things that don’t leave a trace. But in difficult times, our every step leaves a clear trail for all to see.
What do your steps show? Where does your trail lead? If others follow it, will it lead them to God?
Whatever your hardship, God is your very present help. Turn your steps heavenward. And lead on!