Step Ahead

“You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you…” (Deuteronomy 5:33)

Babies do a lot of sleeping. (When we desperately need some, they usually quit!) In the first few months of life babies could almost be called couch potatoes, swaddled tight as a burrito, eating, sleeping and then sleeping some more.

Children are altogether different, and their chubby legs are constantly on the move. Toddlers fall, get back up, and fall again. They simply don’t mind. Children realize that in order to get from here to there, and a little further beyond, tripping, slipping, and getting back on task is part of the grand adventure. We could grab a lesson or two from them on steps to overcoming, resilience, fortitude.

God calls us his children. He calls us to walk with him, to walk before him, to “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:1), to “walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).  He challenges us to “look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15). Choosing the course of wisdom and being a child of God seem to go hand in hand. A few bumps and bruises might be part of our journey forward, too.

David tells us that even when we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4) we do not need to fear because the Lord is walking right beside us, to comfort us, to fight for us so that the shadows never win. Isaiah deepens our sense of security by reminding us that “though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘this is the way, walk in it’” (Isaiah 31:20).

God commands that his children walk a certain way, to actually “walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). If we are aware that God is the one walking beside us, humility is possibly the only reasonable choice. The apostle Paul encourages us to “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) in order to stay in step with the Father’s desires. Paul reaches across time, reminding us “to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him” (Colossians 1:10).

Of course, Jesus knew all about pleasing the Father. He demonstrated what those steps looked like while he lived here on earth and repeated commands to his disciples to “follow” him (John 1:43), to imitate him, to make our way through this world like the Son of God exemplified. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Walking by the light of Christ seems like wisdom in its finest form.

Let’s act a bit more like children, God’s children. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, determined to please him, and walk out our love for him day by day until that time when we will walk by sight in our Father’s home.

Elizabeth A. Mitchell

Photo Credit: Paul Westel

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