Over the weekend, I had the pleasure, as I have for the last 15 years or so, to attend an annual women’s retreat sponsored by my church. As the speakers and elders poured into us, I couldn’t help but reflect upon the saints in the church where I was introduced to the Lord. Amidst the glory that we experienced this weekend, I was reminded of one of the deacons in my church who was dear to my family. He stood in height over six feet, which as a child, appeared like a giant. Every time he saw me, he had one famous greeting. In his booming voice, he’d say, “One Step!” My heart giggled each time he said it. It was representative as a youth of my name, Stephanie, and perhaps prophetic as a reminder in my seasoned age, of how I need to walk this thing called life out.
To be sure, 2018 has presented much joy, and I cannot help equally estimate the amount of trauma that has accompanied it as well, not only for me, but perhaps for you too. How were we able to make it? To survive? To compass through? In the manner by which Deacon Berkley always reminded, “one step.” When we run out of strength, we can take assurance in the fact and the expectation that God never intended for us to walk this journey in isolation and certainly not skipping over the critical lessons designed for our development and for encouragement to others. Perhaps what is most salient for us to recall on a dime is that He is orchestrating and ordaining our efforts as we make attempt to follow Him. That means that we cannot attempt to go beyond Him, or for that matter waste our energy questioning Him…trust me, it’s futile because we serve a sovereign God that gives two flips about our discomfort relational to His will. Of course He will always listen and comfort, but in the end, He knows that what we learn through our steps will prepare us for the victories to come.
Psalm 59:10 reminds, “My God is one step ahead of me with His mercy; He will show me the victory I desire over my enemies.” Since we know that God is one step ahead of us, it would make sense that we do our level best to follow in the boundaries that He so graciously provides. When toddlers are learning to walk and take their first step, we stand in excitement and amazement. Yet as adults one step toward something desired, be it a job, relationship, ministry, school or even wholeness, we petition God to accelerate the process. Through those points of uncertainty, we must know where to deposit our frustration and sorrow. As the songwriter said, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock, higher than I.” Just like Deacon Berkley said, “One step.” And when we elect to follow those instructions, to seek God, to follow in the path that He ordains, to not get ahead of Him, to keep His statutes, I truly believe that just like me as a child, it makes God’s heart giggle. Rest easy Deacon Berkley. Thank you for the wisdom.