Lessons in the nettles.


As I strayed from the path I was confident. I could see where I wanted to be and how I wanted to get there, the problem was I hadn’t looked close enough at where I was treading.

Two minutes later, hopping through stinging nettles and yelping ouch like a lunatic I suddenly realised why no one else was walking this way. The lush green shortcut that I had glanced at was actually a painful pathway that was not playing nicely with my feet.

My destination? The brow of a big hill that looked out across the whole of the county, it was a beautifully clear evening and the view was already incredible from where I was, I just wanted to get a glimpse from where some other people were, right at the top.


It’s walks like this, out in the ‘wild’ that I find thinking space and talk with God. I’m not going to lie, it’d been a while.

I don’t hear God in an audible, thunderbolt from heaven kind of way, He just kinda pops into my thoughts with a beautifully crafted line that hits me in the heart, lines that I know I didn’t think of myself.

I love how He knows me so well that He uses my love of words and my own stupidity to speak into me.

This particular days lesson involved stinging nettles.

The funny thing was, less than five minutes earlier, I had sat on a patch of grass to find myself surrounded by stinging nettles. The miracle being I was currently sat in the only patch that wasn’t covered.

And at that moment, He dropped a line.

‘Sometimes it feels like you’re planted among the nettles, don’t think you can’t make a difference while you’re there.’ – He’d said. 20180513_183414

I took from it, the blessing it had been to be sat on the good ground, in a place of safety where my behind was protected from potential doom. He literally saved my butt and has been doing so all my life!

It made me think about the world and how, with God, we can approach all things without fear and even when we’re surrounded by potential painful situations He protects us and guides us through. Sometimes it’s just recognising the pains we need to give to God so He can weed them out for us, other times He walks with us as we get to speak into the lives of others and change our own.

From one lesson to the next: It was a short distance later that my feet were covered in stings after I’d attempted a shortcut to get to higher ground, a shortcut that no one else had taken. Stings as a consequence of my own stupidity.

In hindsight I laugh, at the time it was painful!

Ever got hurt because you tried to do things alone? Tried to take a shortcut to get to where you thought you needed to be? The place where everyone else is?

I have. Literally.

I love climbing just high enough to see the horizon, it feels like you’re getting a glimpse of what God see’s, a tiny window to the majesty of the world that He created. Short of finding that amazing window of the world, I felt like I’d been so keen on getting where other people were, with less effort, that I’d actually defenestrated myself!

So, sweethearts, this post is to say, don’t compare where you are to where someone else is. If you have a dream, set it in God’s hands and don’t be tempted to make your own shortcuts to ‘make’ it happen. Move with God, don’t struggle against Him. Trust that His plans will far outweigh the ultimate desires of your heart, He wants to give you so much more than you see.

And in the journey, watch your feet. Let Him guide them, pray about each step. As you fight for your ten minutes, pray, as you step into your day, pray.  In your fear, sickness, distress – pray. AND in your Joy, celebration, health and blessings pray!

You have such a beautiful opportunity to view this world the Jesus way, so let’s walk with Him not without Him.




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