Thud! The sound filled the quiet Saturday afternoon air. Thud, thump, bump, bump! All of this was followed by a loud cry, and I ran toward the scene of disaster. I recognized the cry as my daughter’s and knew that she had fallen down the steps in our home. The whole family converged at the bottom of the stairs to comfort her and see if she was okay. Thankfully, she was fine except for a couple of bruises and a lot of spilled tears.
Not long after, my husband and I sat her down and talked to her about the importance of watching her steps, carefully holding the rails, and asking for help when coming down the stairs. We practiced walking down the stairs carefully, and my husband and I were sure that she understood.
A week later, she slipped and fell again. Thankfully, she was not injured, but I have to admit, I was a little frustrated. Why had she not asked for my help?
Then it occurred to me that this was a lot like my walk with God. Just like my daughter, I forget God’s precious instructions time and time again. It is so easy to overlook God’s guidelines for our lives.
What can we do to avoid the pitfalls of a worldly existence that cause us to be separated from God? Just like the instructions we gave our daughter, God has laid out practical advice for living in Christ.
First, we must watch our steps carefully. Proverbs 4:26 says, “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways” (NIV). Also, Ephesians 5:17 implores us to “be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise” (NASB). God tells us to ponder our steps carefully. Our emotions often want to lead our feet into unsafe territory, and that causes us to slip into sin.
Next, we must firmly hold the rails. Just like stair rails can hold my daughter steady, a sure faith in God can steady our journey of faith. The Bible is full of examples of people who held on tightly to God. Second Kings 18:6 speaks of King Hezekiah, who “clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments” (NASB).
When I am facing hard trials, I have an ongoing and honest conversation with God about it. We stop and start the conversation throughout the day, and He blesses me with reminders of comforting scriptures. The trial may not miraculously disappear, but I am aware of God’s presence. He does not depart from me. I can cling to Him who will hold me steady in His infinite wisdom and strength.
Finally, we should boldly ask for help from God. I am ashamed to admit that so often when faced with trials, I call a friend or family member for help instead of speaking to God first. But God reminds us in Isaiah 41:13, “I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you’” (NIV). The Creator of the universe is offering us His right hand. What a privilege to have access to His help! When you are facing trials, go to God first in prayer and seek His wisdom and peace.
It is a certainty that I will slip and fall in my faith again, but the next time that happens, I hope I will remember to watch my steps carefully, to hold firmly to the rails, and to boldly ask for help from the Great I AM.
Written by Kristi Dews Dale
Photo by Anne Sullivan