Step by Step

Last month we visited my son and daughter-in-law in Norway.  They have two beautiful children, which of course any grandparent might say. The youngest is a boy, Lucas, who is filled with joy and loves to be outside.  Lucas loves all sorts of machinery but also leaves and dirt.  His joy is infectious and he can bring a smile to anyone’s face.  During this visit, we went to their cabin in the mountains for a weekend. When we arrived it was a bit rainy, cold and overcast.  However, we decided to take the kids out for a walk after a long car ride to get there.  Our granddaughter took a spill close to the cabin and decided that she was too upset to go any further. She left to go back to the cabin with her mother.

Lucas was having too much fun and wanted to continue with us all the way up the hill.  The path led to a meadow that was rocky and covered with all sorts of lichen that were showing off their rich autumn colors.  Lucas was a real trooper and walked most of the way, holding his father’s hand when the way got steep or too rocky.  He even struggled up the hill without asking to be carried.  His father would have done that for him but he wanted to “do it myself.”

Later, as we descended the hill, I watched as they walked together and noticed that they were fully in sync without even having to give a thought about it.  It reminded me of a song by Rich Mullins we sometimes sing in church.

Oh God, You are my God 
And I will ever praise You 
Oh God, You are my God 
And I will ever praise You 
I will seek You in the morning 
And I will learn to walk in Your ways 
And step by step You’ll lead me 
And I will follow You all of my days

Sometimes I think of Abraham 
How one star he saw had been lit for me 
He was a stranger in this land 
And I am that, no less than he 
And on this road to righteousness 
Sometimes the climb can be so steep 
I may falter in my steps 
But never beyond Your reach

Lucas was never beyond the reach of his father, even when he wanted to walk by himself and not hold hands.  Yet, anytime the road got rocky or he needed help, he didn’t hesitated to reach out to his father, who was always keeping an eye on him. 

How like God this is.  God is always present as we journey through life.  Many times, we let go of God’s hand. We want to “do it ourselves”—just like a toddler who is discovering his independence and ability.  Yet God is always walking beside us; ready to catch us if we fall, ready to sooth our hurts and cries when the road gets too rocky.  We just need to reach out and take God’s hand. We may feel we are all alone but God never takes God’s eye off us.  And if we continue to stay connected, we will begin to walk—step by step—in the path God leads us.  It will still be rocky at times but we will know we are not alone.  With God we can conquer even the biggest hill in our path.

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