Psalm 37:23 (NKJV)
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.”
Have you ever stood on the edge of a rock or building roof and looked across at where you wanted go and wondered if you can make it if you jumped? How about standing on something solid with one leg, then holding on with one arm to stretch and reach something? Or even lying down while you hang over the edge just for a chance to touch the other side with a fingertip?
Life is filled with these moments where you can see the next thing you need or place you need to get to, but it is a little further away than we would like. Many times we contemplate a desperate jump or letting go to grab that edge we think we need to get to now. These are the times it could be very frustrating because it may require some patience while we wait.
I know I have been there many times, staring across that distance or just trying anything I could to reach what I needed. The plans to get there would rival any of the funny videos that begin with “Hey, watch me as I try something incredibly stupid.” Once you jump from that stable spot or let go of your secure anchor, it’s a little late to weigh the consequences.
When you take the time to establish a solid base for yourself, it seems strange that we would throw it all away just to get our journey over with. But today’s society isn’t built on patience or the prospect of waiting. Instead we are bombarded with every shortcut imaginable from the latest gadgets, latest quick fix schemes, or winning the lottery because money fixes everything.
Does it sound ridiculous or are you one of the rare people who has the patience to build properly no matter how long it takes? For most of us we sometimes have to fail more times than we care to admit before we get a clue. What is even more ridiculous is that we can find a thousand and one excuses along the way to say it wasn’t our fault.
So, what do we do when we are standing there with our feet firmly planted, gazing across what separates us from our destination, but it is just a little further than we can reach? Keep building. Figure out what you need to build outward or upward, because each solid step you put in place gets you that one step closer to making it across safely.
When a bridge is built there is the anchor on each side with a span to safely get everyone across. Otherwise, you would have two ramps that would require you to get a running start and jump your way across. If you really think about it, there may be several stable places between the spans that further support the solid platform for each step you take.
These places may be hard to find if we are not paying attention to what we are doing especially if we get distracted. We all know the things that cause us to look away like something else we would prefer doing, a person who causes you to be distracted, or that unplanned circumstance that pops up. This is when you really have to keep your focus as you move forward.
I have allowed myself to get so distracted at times that it was like I fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the end of my uncompleted bridge. In recent years I have used prayer to help me regain that clarity I needed. However, there are still times when I lose focus and when the winds start whipping around me, I am hanging on with one hand and God is nowhere to be found.
This is when I feel like the disciples in the first half of Luke 8:22-25. “Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed, He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy.”
This could very easily be that lake, river, or chasm we are trying to cross in our life when adversity strike or a disruption occurs. When this happens we need to remember the next two verses in this passage. “And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”
When we lose faith in Christ and in ourselves, we quickly lose the confidence that was there a few seconds ago. Just like that pleasant boat ride we are enjoying before the winds and the waves kick up. This is why we need to take the time to remain focused and concentrate on the next steps we are taking.
The Lord will guide us, but even if we do stray into difficulty He is always there to help. Just like Peter in Matthew 14:29-30, “So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
So, as we continue to build our bridge remember to faithfully call on the Lord for the strength you need and the wisdom to place that next plank or stone. Join me by giving thanks with every stable step that keeps you confidently moving forward closer to the other side.
When we do this, we acknowledge that we cannot make this journey alone and we will feel the peace of His love as Christ walks along side of us. As you do, please also enjoy, “With Every Stable Step Give Thanks.”
WITH EVERY STABLE STEP GIVE THANKS
Lord, I can feel strength and confidence coursing through my veins,
With my feet firmly planted on your rock I have made so many gains.
It feels good to be making progress with renewed energy to keep trying,
Just by following your truth and not listening to all the lying.
As I again look at the other side, I’m still not sure if I can reach,
I am still learning from your word and the lessons that you teach.
How do I keep standing firm when the stretch becomes too great,
And I feel that all my bending is to a point where I will break?
My child, when you are firmly grounded this base is just a start,
You must then begin building outward, working on the next part.
Some obstacles are wider and may require time to cross,
If you try to move too quickly your gains will turn to loss.
Even though you’re stronger you still want changes that will last,
Sometimes you must add a span to the next stable point along my path.
I am standing there beside you as you place the next stones or planks,
Simple Faith Christian