Psalm 119:1 (the message)
You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
This morning I took my daughter, Leah, to a local pumpkin patch with her preschool class. We had a hay ride and she chose a little pumpkin. We saw a few goats, chickens and a donkey named Raisin. It was beautiful N.C. weather and a sweet time with my little girl.
As we drove home she fell asleep and my mind began to wonder as it often does when I drive without little girl chatter in my ears. I thought about a friend of mine…someone having a hard time and feeling lost for answers. She wants to do the right thing but isn’t even sure what that is anymore. I’ve been there and it’s hard. As I thought about her I remembered the times in my own life when I was so overwhelmed with what to do next…asking, pleading, for direction to make things better. I cannot give her the “right” answer. No one can give her the magic formula because there isn’t one. There is only God. So, my prayer as I drove was “God, please just show her what to do next.”
See, sometimes when we are hurting terribly we are so fixated on how to get to the end “happy” result that we can’t get anywhere! We can only see the huge mountain and from our view it looks nearly impossible to climb over, so we become more discouraged and stuck. Our feet either stay firmly stuck to where we stand or we may even just run away. We pray and hope that God will make things better, but I think that we have the false idea that things get better when we find that elusive “right” answer. But what if God wants us to see that climbing over the mountain is not done in one giant leap; no, it’s many small steps…a climb, after all.
The verse above says you are blessed when you stay on course…when you walk steadily on the road revealed by God. It’s a walk…a journey…and sometimes a climb. If we are seeking to really know Jesus then He will reveal the road we are to travel. We are to walk steadily on this road He reveals to us and then we will find ourselves blessed. So, what am I saying?
When I think back over the hardest times of my marriage and how far we have come, I know it happened in a thousand little steps on the road God revealed. Oh, believe me, I wanted the magic answer! I would go to work and have a 90-year-old sweet little old lady as a patient and wonder if she knew what I should do. Really! I didn’t ask because wow, but I would wonder. I would wonder who could tell me what to do to make my marriage better. But you know what happened? Because I loved God and did want His help, He would show me the next step. God never gave me a grand revelation on how to go from near divorce to healthy marriage in 5 weeks or less. No, He gave me a step and if I took it then it brought a bit of healing. Sure, there were times we took a few steps on this God-revealed road and then Wham! We were 10 steps back! But taking those seemingly small and sometimes pride-crushing steps opened our eyes to see what could be. See, if you can get just a glimpse of what could be then you can hang on and be willing to take that next step God shows you. Every step you take on God’s road to recovery brings you one step closer to knowing Him more intimately and to the healed and blessed life you are longing for.
What’s your next step? It may be quite small or it could be so big you choke on the idea. Either way…what is the next step God is revealing to your heart?? Stop looking at the mountain’s size and impossibility. Close your eyes if you must and just listen with your heart to the God who loves you. He will absolutely show you the next step and if you’ll take it then He’ll show you another one and on and on. And one day, you can look back and that mountain might just be behind you.
Do you need to ask someone’s forgiveness? Do you need to forgive someone? Maybe your next step is keeping your mouth closed when you want so badly to make your opinion known. Maybe your next step is to give to your church, shelter or your neighbor that you don’t really like. Perhaps your next step is just as small as a smile…yes, perhaps your next step is just to smile at him tonight when he walks in the door. That’s just being real. You might think it would kill you but the shocking part is that it will free you. If you are lost…looking for the magic answer or about to give up…be still and listen to your Father.
Father God, I ask on behalf of every person who reads this post that you reveal to their heart the next step you have for them to take. God, you know that I understand how hopeless things can seem. I know how impossible the mountain can look and how discouraging and hopeless it can feel. Please help each reader sense that You are a God of the impossible and you will reveal to us the road that leads to blessing, one step at a time. Whatever there may be that needs to be done…as simple as a smile when even that seems like chewing glass…I ask you, in the name of Jesus, reveal Yourself to them. Let them know in their hearts what the next step is…and then the next one…and help them, please Lord, to take it. I know what you can do, Father, when we follow you step by step. In the matchless name of Jesus.