Road to Zion

Hello Abide and Seekers!
We have a guest writer for this week’s article, her name is Jasmine Willis! This past week God laid it on our hearts to ask Jasmine to guest write for Abide and Seek. Her passion and gifts lie in reporting and writing and her love for God can be seen by all. So before we dive into her article, she would like to share a little bit about herself along with her testimony with you all!

Introducing Jasmine Willis

Growing up I was raised as a non-denominational Christian. I often went to whatever church would accept us at the time. We went to Christian Temple in Wellsville, United Methodist, Full Gospel, Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian Fellowship, Bible Church, and much more. I remember the last time I really felt accepted by a church was when I was five years old. I went to Varysburg Valley Gospel Church, and I loved it very much. I truly felt like they were my family.
For what seemed like a lifetime I searched for that connection to other Christians, and to find a Church Home that made me feel safe.
It wasn’t until I made my way to Wayland Lighthouse Wesleyan Church that I found what I had searched for. They welcomed me with open arms, and have been a true blessing in my life. I have found a safe place to go, and a Church Home that I longed for. After recently being baptized by my church family I have grown to trust and allow them into my life.

My career path has taken me towards being a storyteller. I’m a journalist for a local newspaper. It is here that I invest a lot of my heart and soul into trying to change a small part of the world. As for my free time, I really enjoy adventures with family and friends. These adventures come in forms of road trips mostly. I love photography, journaling, and creating art.

Road to Zion

Growing up we have all listened to music, and certain songs have a way of reaching us when nothing else works.

These songs become a familiar presence on our journey, and we often reach out to them for comfort.

In my childhood we were always poor, so when mom got cable for the first time it was a huge deal. We would often watch the Christian programs, and listen to the Christian music videos.

I remember as a child hearing a song that spoke to me even at a young age. The song “Road to Zion” by Petra was the most beautiful song I had ever heard.

The lyrics go like this …

“There is a way that leads to life

The few that find it never die

Past mountain peaks graced white with snow

The way grows brighter as it goes”

“There is a road inside of you

Inside of me, there is one too

No stumbling pilgrim in the dark

The road to Zion’s in your heart

The road to Zion’s in your heart”

“The river runs beside the road

It’s waters living as they flow

In liquid voice the water calls

On thirsty knees the pilgrim falls”

 

“Sometimes a shadow dark and cold

Lays like a mist across the road

But be encouraged by the sight

Where there’s a shadow, there’s a light”

 

“Sometimes it’s good to look back down

We’ve come so far – we’ve gained such ground

But joy is not in where we’ve been

Joy is who’s waiting at the end.”

If you have never heard this song, check it out!

It wasn’t until I got much older that I fully understood the meaning of this song. It always reminded me of “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan. This book (originally written in 1678) has such a strong message of that burden we all carry as we make our pilgrimage to Heaven.

Petra had a way of taking the Christian faith and making it so vivid and poetic in their lyrics.

As a born-again Christian their music always touched my heart the most. To this day when I hear “Road to Zion” I put myself in the place of that pilgrim. I take that journey described so perfectly in the song. I have been that pilgrim so many times in my life. I have dropped down on thirsty knees by those living waters. I have stumbled in the dark. I have often been discouraged by the shadows in my life, but this song points out that where there is a shadow there is light. Whenever I find myself stumbling around in the dark I will turn to this song. It gives me that safe image of the road to our Heavenly Father that forever grows within our hearts. For joy is not in where we have been, but who is waiting at the end.

If you are like me you have shared your own pilgrim’s journey in your lifetime. You have struggled to understand the full depth of what it means to be carrying that road in your heart. You often find yourself at a crossroads that turns you toward the dark instead of the light.

I think all of our roads are different. Mine sounds a lot like a forest filled with weeping willows, rich waterfalls, deep ravines, giant mountaintops, and stone bridges. I believe that we spend our whole lives on that road. I think we get lost along the way, and we often get frustrated by the obstacles we face.

Don’t be discouraged, my fellow travelers. Where there are shadows there is light. Just like my favorite verse John 1:5 KJV says “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

The darkness can never win. As long as you understand that Our Lord is the everlasting living water of light, love, and life you can never fear the dark again.

Hello everyone! My name is Jasmine and I’m a journalist for a local newspaper. It is here that I invest a lot of my heart and soul into trying to change a small part of the world. As for my free time, I really enjoy adventures with family and friends. These adventures come in forms of road trips mostly. I love photography, journaling, and creating art!

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