When people’s steps follow the Lord, God is pleased with their way. If they stumble, they will not fall, because the Lord holds their hand. [Psalm 37:23-24 (NCV)]
A few seconds into my ascent of a steep Mayan pyramid, I realized I was going to be in trouble. Foolishly (and out of pride), I barged ahead. I knew the scramble up the steep rocks wouldn’t be the hard part for me; it would be the trip back down. I’m fearful of heights and the descent necessitated facing outward and seeing the steepness and height! I easily made it to the peak. The magnificent view took my breath away, not because of its beauty, but because of my fear of the return trip. As I neared the edge to make my descent, I felt the panic begin. I had gotten myself into this predicament but how was I ever going to get out of it? “One step at a time,” was His answer. God held my hand as I slowly sidestepped down the huge blocks of stone. Whenever I paused to look up to see how far I’d come or down to see how far I had to go, I would panic again. The pyramid seemed to get bigger and steeper with every step; I felt like I wasn’t getting any closer to the bottom. “Just keep going, you’ll get there eventually,” were the reassuring words I heard. So, I prayed, trusted God and took it one step at a time. I was okay, not happy, but okay. In fact, in spite of my fear, I found myself encouraging other hesitant climbers.
In our lives, we often charge ahead, knowing full well that we’re likely to end up in trouble. Over and over again, Lord, you have to bail us out of difficult situations. Thank you for being there; forgive us our foolishness when we should know better! Give us sense enough to recognize the difference between expanding our horizons and being fool-hardy or downright stupid! Thank you for holding our hands and guiding us back to safety, one step at a time. When we feel we’re not progressing, thank you, Lord, for making your presence known and urging us on. As you reassure us, thank you, Lord, for enabling us to encourage others we meet along the way.