Aaron loves walking in nearby Swanson Park. The weather finally cooled down enough a few days ago for us to enjoy a nice stroll on the paved trails.
Aaron is familiar enough with the park to know when we are nearing the small bridge that goes over Cowskin Creek. There it is, barely visible ahead of us as we walk the winding trail.
I know as we get nearer to the bridge that Aaron will tell me he doesn’t like that bridge. On this particular day, I offered for us to turn around and walk back the way we had come and not go over the bridge. But he did not want to do that, so we kept walking.
Each step brought us nearer to the scary bridge. Yet Aaron knew, through prior experience, that I would stay with him and that the walk across the bridge would end up just fine.
Sometimes I’m very much like Aaron as I walk with the Lord. I’ve walked with Him a long time, in many places and many varied experiences. God has proven Himself faithful over and over.
Yet still, when I know that up ahead is a situation that I may not like, I get unnerved.
It’s easy to focus on the scary bridge and not on the One Who is walking beside me.
Easy as well to want to plan and strategize.
If I do this, then maybe that will happen.
But I don’t see how it’s even possible to do this. So maybe I could try this other thing to make it all work out.
Well, maybe this…..
No. I know! I could do……
Finally…I just don’t know how ANY of this can work out!!
All my planning falls in a heap of frustration.
You know what God really wants?
He really wants me to walk one step at a time, one moment at a time, one day at a time.
He wants me to take the next step. Period.
And to quit stewing over what might be or could be or will it be?!
That’s what Ruth did when she and Naomi left Moab. There they were, two destitute widows with no plan and no certain future.
But Ruth just did the next thing…took the next step by asking Naomi if she could go glean the grain that the reapers left behind. She and Naomi needed food, and Ruth had learned that God had told His people to leave grain in the fields for those like her and Naomi.
Ruth couldn’t see what would happen tomorrow or the next day or the following week or next month or next year.
But she knew that today she could go and glean grain.
You and I know the rest of the story, but she certainly didn’t.
And more importantly, God knew all the twists and turns of Ruth’s life and of her future. He wanted her to each day take the next step of obedience, and to do so without knowing her future.
This is exactly what God wants of me…to walk one step at a time today without trying to leap ahead into tomorrow with all my plans.
All of us have a bridge up ahead in our lives. We have good things and scary things and hard things up ahead.
But we don’t have to walk across that bridge alone. If we know God, then He will be right there beside us, guiding us to take that next step.
“Trust the providence of God for tomorrow, and do the next thing in quiet faith today.” (David Strain)