Mar 30, 2007

Patience is about taking the next step

Frank mentioned to me after a visit with Ian that he looked so good. It had been a while since Frank had seen Ian, and the difference was noticeable to him. We see him every day and don't always notice the changes. I'm learning through this experience with Ian to focus only on the next step - the next small step in his progress or the next thing we have to do or the next act of kindness by people or the next provision of the Lord. Reports like Frank's are a good reminder of how far Ian has come.

It occurred to me that focusing only on the next step or the next thing is how the Lord wants me to live. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps 119:105). An oil lamp (the only kind available when this was written) only lit enough of a dark road for the next step. I've walked on deserted roads at night where there is no light except the light of a flashlight (usually one with most of the juice gone); it's not the most comfortable stroll. That's what this experience feels like - a walk along a dark windy deserted road surrounded by woods (where animals live) with only a dim flashlight to light the next step. Living life this way forces me to put my confidence where it belongs: in His Word which declares his kindness and faithfulness and power. I'm learning that patience is about taking just the next step trusting that God is leading me and caring for me and protecting me.

Thank you for praying...



Transitions and Trends said...

I love how you always end with "thanks for praying" or "pray for Ian". you will say something that seems totally unrelated to prayer, but mostly end with that. like your heart is still, after a long trial, firm in faith and love for your son. it always blesses me to read what you say and then to hear you say...pray for my son. i can only imagin how it would bless Ian to see his father care so much for him and want so much for all to remain faithful to pray for him. thank you for being an example of not growing weary. it inspires me to keep praying - and i will!

Anonymous said...

Once again, excellent and so instructive. Our (sinful) instinct is to look ahead, but as your example makes so clear, if we look ahead of the light that's not any further then one step ahead, we fall into holes and get hurt. Thank you for reminding us (all of us, whether we know it's dark or not)that Jesus doesn't want us to run in the dark. He wants us to ask for the next step, look at the next step, take the next step, and that's it. You're right. This is exactly how He wants all of us to live, all the time, for the rest of our lives. If we could just get it! How much greater our peace and rest would be. Thank you, Steve, for sharing with us as you learn. I'm sure that, one day, you'll see, and be stunned by the amount and quality of fruit that your faithful sharing produces in lives that you never knew.


Anonymous said...

Steve, there is no better place to be than dependency upon our Savior as we take the next step. Together we share in the sufferings of Christ with the knowledge that the suffering cannot compare to the glory to be revealed. Not a day goes by I am not with you all, several times a day in prayer, in heart, in pain and in confidence. His love is perfect, pure and trustworthy. Because He Gave His Life, Eileen

Patty W said...

Thanks for the great reminder.
It makes me think of Peter who was able to stand on water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. But as soon as he started looking beyond that field of vision and saw wind and waves and expanse and the shore so far away he began to sink. I am just like that. Again, thanks for the great reminder. pw

Anonymous said...

You and your family and Larissa truly are walking by faith and not by sight.
What an example to us you all are!

Still praying!

Mary Ann K.