Monday, July 19, 2010

Somtimes . . . Well, Always, a Step at a Time

About 17 years ago I was in the apartment my older sister lived in at the time, for reasons I can't remember and with me was the man who is now my husband. We were waiting for said sister to finish something up, I think, before going for coffee or something and listening to a mixed tape someone had made for her. It was a mix of artists new to me – among them Keith Green, Petra, and perhaps even Michael W. Smith – and one song in particular stood out for me. Called “Sometimes by Step”, it was by Rich Mullins (who I still count among my favourites) and it was this bit in particular which has stuck with me throughout the years:

And on this road to righteousness
Sometimes the climb can be so steep
I may falter in my steps
But never beyond Your reach

Too often I focus on how steep the path before me is and how far I have yet to go to reach a goal or destination. The bigness of the picture overwhelms me and I plop down on my butt (sometimes metaphorically and literally), convinced I cannot possibly do that, not after waiting so much time on this and there I stay and fiddle with the things that don't seem so big or scary.

I was facing a steep path (which was possibly just a blown-out-of-proportion hill) this morning, and was struggling with how, exactly, to move forward from the point I currently found myself at. (As much as I may try to in my head, I can't change the past or the future and thereby alter my present. Darn it . . . I think . . .)

Anyhow . . . Where to go? What to do? And I'd like to say I do have it all sorted out along with a lovely little map or list of directions sitting beside me to help me stay on track. But I don't.

Okay, I know God does know all my days, that He has a good future mapped out for me, but sometimes . . . well, this is one of those times where I need to keep the following firmly in mind:

So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its
own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
- Matthew 6:34 (NLT)

On the surface, it is not the most encouraging of verses. I don't like to hear about having worries or troubles. But before verse 34, Jesus was telling His disciples to not worry about food or clothing or shelter, but to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and He would give them everything they needed. Including the means and the ability to take the steps on the journey for that day.

Great works of art are not painted with a single brush stroke. Great stories are not told in one sentence or within the very first draft. There are revisions, mistakes, multiple strokes and a myriad of words. And there are thousands upon thousands of steps made in a journey. And even when it gets hard or tricky or steep, God is there, holding our hand firmly in His own. We (and I include myself in this camp) just need to remember to not let go of His.

Though [the godly] stumble, they will never fall,
for the LORD holds them by the hand.
- Psalms 37:24 (NLT)

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