I spent time yesterday and today praying for courage to write this. The interesting thing is, I’m feeling called to share about the very thing I am struggling to do.
To take a step (or two) out of my fear of failure, and my conviction that I am not sufficiently equipped, to share the encouragement that God has for you….and me.
Today is a remarkably special day in my life, the lives of the ones I love most and in the lives of many others. For us, it is a day of remembering the incredible impact that my mother-in-law, Regina Williams, had during her life. A day to celebrate the ripple effects that continue to be felt all around the world. She lived with such intention; making sure each day was pointed towards God and purposefully walking where He was calling.
Her ability to make an impact in the world around her was not because she took great leaps of faith (although she did), or because she felt equipped to lead many women toward God (although she did), or because she dreamed of creating an international ministry for mentoring women (although she did). Her dream, her desire, was to be used by God, and her impact is felt because she was willing to take any step that brought her closer to Him.
Recently, I heard a beautiful story about a sweet boy who loves the beach more than anything. Due to autism, he struggles to connect with the world around him, and cannot seem to engage with his family, peers and surroundings at home or school. But at the beach, he is at peace. He finds joy and freedom. However, this creates a challenge for his parents when it is time to go home to rest and eat. He simply will not leave.
So, his parents play a game with him. They ask him to find his father’s footprints and place his foot right in the middle of each step. As he focuses on his father’s steps, he is able to be led away from what he loves and on to something he needs or something better.
We have that same tendency, right? We find the spot we love, the place where we are comfortable and content, and we don’t want to leave. But what if God is ready to call you into something greater and better? What if it is time to step towards the dreams that He has placed in your heart?
Regina could have refused to walk away from her “beach”. She could have been content to enjoy her life as a wife and mother at home, supporting and loving her family, and that would have been fulfilling and noble. But, had she not placed her feet in the footprints of her Father, taking each step that He made for her, we might not have Titus2 today, and her legacy would look much different.
The same God that illuminated the steps Regina took is lighting up steps for you and me to take as well. Every day He simply asks you to take small steps towards Him. By putting Him first in your day, prioritizing Him over yourself, you open up your heart and mind to see the footprints He has already made for you. It shines a light on those steps!
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path. ~ Psalm 119:105
For me, it is not so much comfort that keeps me from taking the steps God is revealing to me, it is fear that I am not worthy or equipped! But, this gets to the root of the problem. In these moments, I have fixated my gaze on the idol of my own worth (no matter how little or great it is in my eyes), rather than gait of the One that says “my grace is sufficient for you”.
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
When I gaze on His gait, fixing my heart on the truth of His word, then the fear that paralyzes me is gone, because I focus on Him not the calling.
Have you ever walked with someone and you found that you were not keeping the same pace? It is uncomfortable and awkward, until one of you alters the way you naturally walk. This is true with God too, but He doesn’t need to (and won’t) alter His gait.
He sets a pace that He knows we are able to match. His gait in our lives is unique to us, and He will not set a pace or stride for us that is meant for someone else. He loves us too much to set us up for that kind of failure. But, sometimes we do need to stretch ourselves to walk in sync with Him. This means we must focus on Him and the steps He is leading us in towards our calling, not on the calling of others around us.
The dreams that God has placed in your heart are for you. And they might not even be where or what He has asked you to walk in right now. He tends to reveal steps, not destinations.
But, the steps He is revealing to us today will bring us closer to Him and the calling He has destined for us to fulfill. And the best part is, by choosing to take those steps towards Him, we will find satisfaction in my heart from Him.
My father-in-law told me that Regina would say her life was full of baby steps. But as I said, she was a woman with intention. And I say, steps made with intention will land where they are intended, leaps made in haste can lead to stumbling.
And in the end, sometimes baby steps will get you closer to Christ, and His destiny for you, than leaping ever could.
What is your baby step today? Take a moment to pause and ask God what that step is. Is it to call a friend that needs encouragement? Is it remind yourself that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139) and are part of an amazing plan? Is it simply to open up God’s Word, reading it and letting it soak into your soul?
Whatever that step is, take it! Pursue it!
Leaning into Him,