One of my friends is a man of great wisdom. When he speaks, I listen. Recently, I explained to him some of my struggles and the enormous question marks hanging over my life.
“I don’t know what to do,” I said. “I’m a planner, and I need to know my direction. But it’s foggy.”
“Just take one step at a time,” he said.
After our meeting, I opened my journal and added his wisdom to one of the most famous trust verses, Proverbs 3:5-6. It seemed to outline a simple formula that added some security to my questioning heart.
“Trust in the Lord” – one step at a time.
Most of life’s decisions require some amount of trust — either in God Himself, in our ability to make wise decisions or in how the circumstances play out. Being able to trust only one step at a time seems more manageable and less overwhelming.
“With all your heart” – one step at a time.
Most of us glibly declare that we trust God, yet do we really believe with all our hearts, with the entire soul and being? Isn’t there always a piece of reticence in decision-making? Trusting with our wholistic self, one step at a time, seems more authentic.
“Lean not on your own understanding” – one step at a time.
Letting go of my self-sufficiency cannot happen in one giant leap, will not preclude every deletion of my pride. Because my true self has served me well, I cannot massively change my attitude all at once. Refusing to lean on myself can only be surrendered one tiny step at a time.
“In all your ways” – one step at a time.
Not just for one big decision, but for all my directionless life. Every ordinary walk-through-life day. As I take the one-step-at-a-time approach in one area of my being, it will foster more trust in every facet — from finances to relationships to choice of décor to nutrition to everything in between.
“Acknowledge Him” – one step at a time.
God is too big to understand his omnipotence and all-knowing power, because we live in the every day, one-day-at-a-time life. As I acknowledge divine wisdom and guidance one step at a time, I experience the relational value of knowing God. This is the difference between religion and relationship, legalism versus love.
“He will make your path straight” – one step at a time.
The cobblestones in my garden set up the perfect analogy. Each stone was mortared, set in pea gravel and arranged to make the perfect pathway. A step off-target would have changed the course.
Although the pathway of life sometimes feels like a meandering current, when we look back on its finished course, we see how it led us straight to the best outcome — into God’s arms.
So as I take one step at a time, each moment becomes a sacred cobblestone, a multi-colored piece to create the finished journey.
Then the questions about direction become hope-filled expressions, and the final destiny shines with joy.
©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
For other analogies about hope, check out Hope Shines – also available in Large Print.