23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.
When my daughter was four years old, our family went on a picnic by a river. My parents were also with us. In the middle of the river was a small island, so I decided to wade out to it with my father. The river was shallow and the current gentle. About the time I reached the island, my daughter, Emily, started calling me from the shore. “I want to come too, Daddy,” she called out.
I waded back to the shore and took her by the hand. When I took my first step, she reached back and grabbed a tree root on the bank of the shore and held on tightly. “Emily, if you want to go with me, you have to let go of the root,” I said.
“If I let go, I’ll sink,” she cried.
“I have your hand,” I said. “I won’t let you sink. There are smooth rocks to step on and you won’t slip. I’ll guide you to the rocks and if you do slip, I’ll hold you up.”
The water was only waist deep to her, but she couldn’t see the bottom. After promising to guide her, she reluctantly let go of the root. With caution she reached out a foot and found the rock. Then the next. Before long I was holding her back as she eagerly pressed ahead to her goal.
I reflected upon this and realized how much this is like our Christian walk. The Lord calls for our trust, but we want to hold on to the shore where we’ll accomplish nothing, but remain safe. The first steps of faith are timid, but as we grow confident in our journey, we eagerly press ahead. Sometimes too eagerly.
One thing I’ve learned is that it’s okay to make mistakes. It is okay to step out without having all the answers. The truth is that we have very little understanding – even when we think we do. It isn’t our ability to accomplish God’s work, but our willingness to step out and allow God to lead us. He accomplishes the work, but calls us to join Him so we can experience what He is doing.
There are times when we will fall, but fear not, God upholds us with His hand. The Lord guides our steps in the right direction so we don’t wander too far off course. We also must learn to slow down and experience the journey.
There are only two requirements to begin our journey of faith – to be in God’s goodness and to be willing to trust Him. Goodness comes from the Lord; therefore, a good man or woman is the one who belongs to Christ. The Apostle Paul said it best, “In me, that is in my flesh, nothing good dwells.” Jesus affirmed this when He told the rich young ruler that no one is good except God. We are good when we become partakers of God’s righteousness. As we do so, we are in fellowship with our God and He then calls us to step out. It isn’t us stepping out on our own, but answering the call of the Lord as He directs our steps.
Do not fear your lack of experience, lack of abilities, or lack of credentials. It is the Lord’s call. He directs our steps and will not allow us to fall. Any who fall do so because they are wading out on their own, but those who seek first the fellowship of God in faith will also walk with God as He directs. Then we can have confidence that he will not forsake us, nor allow us to be utterly cast down.
The Lord delights in your life. Step out and have confidence in His hand regardless of your abilities.
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