A stumble is no excuse to become stagnant.
Each step in life is part of a larger journey to our ultimate destination. We can’t always see exactly where we are going and may only be able to see what’s right in front of us, but steps matter.
A step is progress. It is forward motion. It is movement and momentum. Within each step is potential energy, for we cannot stay in motion until we are set in motion. It’s sort of like this month’s blog. I am starting this opinion piece while having my car serviced at the dealership. I don’t actually have a concept in mind, but I have decided to take the first step – type the first sentence. With each sentence a direction is beginning to take shape, and a few weeks from today, it will become what you are reading now.
God’s Principles are Universal
This is how life works. God sets laws in place that serve as governing principles. Irrespective of our relationship with Him, these universal principles apply to the righteous and unrighteous. Take gravity for example. The most righteous person who walks off a 20-story building will suffer the same result as the most wicked person.
Laws are laws, whether they are government rules and regulations or predictable outcomes. We see the latter of the two in Psalm 37:23-24 (HCSB): “23 A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way. 24 Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord holds his hand.”
The Path We Walk Matters
What I find fascinating about this passage of Scripture is that steps is the subject – a man’s steps, yes, but steps. Steps matter. In fact, the Bible is a book about steps because steps require feet, and feet in Scripture represent a way of life. The psalmist, David, affirms this with the double entendre His/his way.
A way is a path along a journey that leads to a destination. The man that David is referencing has a way or path on which he is journeying, step-by-step. One perspective of this path is that God takes pleasure in the path the man is stepping. The other perspective is that the man takes pleasure in the path that God has legislated for his feet. No matter which perspective one takes, the principle remains the same: there is a specific path that provides the predictable outcome of God’s assistance.
God’s assistance comes in the form of support. Steps require balance and strength. The path can be uneven, rocky, or filled with holes. These instabilities and disruptions can throw off our balance and cause us to fall. The path can also be long or have steep inclines that can weary our feet and cause us to fall.
It is during these moments when we fall that God assists us by preventing us from being overwhelmed from an unintentional tumble by holding our hand to keep us balanced and buoyed so that we stay in motion.
Finish Your Path
Grammy and Stellar Award winning gospel artist, Donnie McClurkin, wrote a song entitled We Fall Down. There is a line in the song where he states, “Get back up again.” His point was that just because we fall down, it doesn’t mean that we have to stay down. God will extend us His hand to help us get back up again.
I’m reminded of Martin Lawrence’s Show Martin and how Martin would often tell the people he wanted to leave his apartment to “get to stepping.” He didn’t mean it as word of encouragement, but he did set them in motion. If you are stagnant and stuck on your path, now is not the time to throw in the towel. There is a path for you to walk and a journey for you to finish.
I don’t know where you may have stumbled along the way, but if you are stuck where you fell, get to stepping. Your journey is not over. God has a path for you to take that He delights in, and you should as well. It is along this path that God will uphold you when you feel out-of-balance or out-of-strength. He’s there alongside you to guide you every step of the way.
Former President Barack Obama said in one speech, “put on your marching shoes.” He understood that the fight for justice and equality was a journey that could not be completed in one step; it required a march, a journey.
Your destiny is a battle. The enemy will do everything he can to stop your forward motion. Even if he doesn’t “turn you round,” he will be just as happy to sit you down. However, the Lord is holding your hand and encouraging you to get back up again, put on your marching shoes, and get to stepping – one step at a time.
Rev. Isaac Hayes is the president of Healing of the Soul Ministries. He is also an Assistant Pastor at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, IL, and a doctoral student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. Follow Rev. Hayes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @RevIsaacHayes.