Sunday, October 28, 2018

Your Next Step

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."
Psalm 56:3
(KJV)

When I was growing up, my family and I used to go inner tubing on the river.  I look back now and think of how adventurous I was back then.  To this day, I have never learned to swim, and to think of getting in such deep water and floating seven miles on an inner tube now isn’t even within radar-range of what I would consider doing.  Back then, I was young and much more openminded to risk-taking, and even though I remember being scared, at times, somehow the fun must have seemed worth it.  

One of the things I find most concerning about my memories of that river is the fact that you could take a step and think you were on level ground, then the very next step could be several feet deeper, creating a massive drop-off.  You just never knew what the depth would be even one small step in front of you, and you obviously couldn’t see anything when you looked in the water.  So much of it was unknown and mysterious.  Looking through eyes that are much older and more cautious, I find the thought of such far too foolish and daring.  I must truly be getting old, but I certainly prefer that over the alternative.  😊

(As a side note, I found it interesting to find out that there has been a ban on inner tubing in that area dating back to 1965, which is the year before I was born!  Reading that didn't do much to set my mind at ease concerning the dangers of my adventurous younger days, and it was surprising to find that we must have been breaking the law, to boot!) 

As I spent time in prayer this morning, I had a whole list of things I am feeling anxious about concerning our future.  Never has it been more unknown or unfamiliar.  My mind went back to that Miami River and how uncertain it always was to take one more step.  How the “bottom could fall out” at any minute, and just because the ground felt level the last step I took gave no indication whatsoever as to what that next step would feel like.  Where would my foot end up?  Would there be ground beneath it to even step on?  Or would the step plunge me into waters over my head?

Isn't this the way with life?  There isn't one among us who can predict what the next step of their life will look like.  Will it remain steady?  Will today be "business as usual?"  Will tomorrow be a blissfully ordinary day?  I have come to dearly cherish the beauty and steadiness of an ordinary day.  It is beyond precious to me when a day doesn't include any unexpected "drop-offs" and an overall sense of normalcy and "the same" pervades.  Back in 2013, I wrote a post called "An Ordinary Day."  You can read it by clicking here.)

Life never stands still, does it?  It is like a continually-flowing river that moves us onward, no matter how much we may want to stay firmly rooted in place.  We have no promise of what our next step will entail, but we do have a promise that we will never walk alone, and even if the step in front of us calls us into a place of overwhelm, there are three things we should never forget.

1.  Regardless how deep the waters, the arms of God are wide and all-encompassing and are always beneath the lowest point. 

“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”  Deuteronomy 33:27

"He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young."  Isaiah 40:11 (ESV)


"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear."  Isaiah 59:1 (Berean Study Bible)


"I will steady him with My hand; with My powerful arm I will make him strong."  Psalm 89:21  (NLT)


2.  Regardless how severely wind-tossed the waters, Jesus walks in the midst of the storm, and the waves are always underneath His feet.

"About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water."  Matthew 14:25 (NLT)

"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church."  Ephesians 1:18-22

3.  Regardless how mysterious and cloudy the waters, God sees clear through and is fully aware of every drop-off and peril that lurks in the darkness, and even though we can't see our next step, He can.

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you."  Psalm 34:15  (ESV)

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it,' when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."  Isaiah 30:21

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD."  Psalm 37:23

"He will guard the feet of His faithful ones."  I Samuel 2:9  (ESV)

"The LORD will always guide you; He will satisfy you in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."  Isaiah 58:11 (Berean Study Bible)

May God bless each one of you dear readers and guide your every step.  May you always have a strong sense of His guiding presence in your life, and may you rest in the knowledge that He is ever in control.  I am praying for every person who will ever read these words as I type.  May He meet your every need and draw you ever closer to His side!


22 comments:

  1. Oh Cheryl,This is so special to my soul..The song was great.I cried all through it..I feel like my life is like you wrote I keep hitting the drop offs with no clue which way to go from here..Sounds like we maybe traveling on the same road..May God hold you 3 so close to His heart that each drop off will let you feel His love deeper than ever..I am praying for you all.PLEASE pray for me too.Keep up the good work..You are going through all the shaky times so you can throw a life line to others on the sea of life..God bless and keep you all tenderly..Love Loads,Elaine

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    1. Thank you so much for your dear, kind words, my faithful friend. I am so thankful for your encouragement and support. I am praying for you and so appreciate your prayers for us. May the Lord bless you abundantly. Sending hugs and much love your way!

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  2. Absolutely a beautiful post dear Cheryl. Oh my! TRUST AND FAITH are the first things that come to my mind. So hard to do at times. Well, when I am not keeping my eyes on HIM they are anyway. All the more why we must stay focused. Hugs and blessings to you dear lady.
    Cindy

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    1. Oh, how encouraging your kind words are to me, sweet friend! YES, trust and faith. It all hinges on that, doesn't it? I am so thankful for you and your encouragement and comments. May the Lord bless you always. Sending love and hugs to you. :)

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  3. Hallelujah! Praise God that His arms are stronger than any storm and He holds us still in any turbulence.
    This has blessed me Cheryl, especially considering the phase my family and I are in right now. God bless you sis.
    I like the new look of your blog.
    Have a super blessed day!
    Love

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    1. Sweet friend, it was SO nice to see your presence here! I am so sorry you are going through a hard phase, and I trust God to help you and see you through. Thank you for your kind words and loving support. I have very limited internet for a while, but I hope to be able to come over and visit your blog as soon as I can. Sending love and hugs to you from across the miles.

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  4. Love the analogy of the river and the unevenness of the ground underneath...profound. Life here on earth is exactly like that which can cause fear to keep us from stepping out into the unknown. so many times i have missed something good because of that fear and times I did not use caution and fell into a pit made my a hasty step. It's the times I seek the Lord for the courage to step into whatever that I can trust what ever that step brings is coated with His love and strength to get to the next step no matter what it is. As always Cheryl you have brought to life truth that moves my heart. I am facing a fear now of inadequate feeling toward a task I know God wants me to do but I fear I will start and not finish because it is a hard one, write a book. There I said it, yes, I have been impressed for a while to do this and even started it several times but I allow what ever comes in to put a stop to it. God has confirmed it lately again it is what I am to do but the fear of failure is what stops me. I needed your post today, thank you, keep me in your prayers.

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    1. And, I needed your sweet words of encouragement tonight, sweet sister. You should absolutely write a book. I SO enjoyed interviewing you and reading your thoughts and life experiences. The whole world needs to hear your testimony. I hope you will plow forward, in spite of all, and write that book. I surely want to read it when you do. Sending love and hugs to you.

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  5. Truly you have spoken such deep truth with this analogy about our walk through life... it is like stepping in a river, and not knowing what lies ahead, but knowing that your hand is in the Master and He won't let us down or (drown), but that He will continue to lead and guide us through whatever it is we are facing. I'm so thankful that we can trust HIM, but He sure knows how to test our faith! Praying for you sweet friend, as I too have surely been in the same place where each footstep seemed so unsure and scary. I'm believing for the Lord to lead you to a sandbar or bank where you can stand secure, and get your footing. He is able! Much love to you sweet friend!!!!

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    1. Thank you, sweet friend. Your friendship, support, and prayers are invaluable gifts in my life. Sending much gratitude, love, and blessings your way!

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  6. What a inspiring post dear friend. I have you and your family in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to be a blessing to your mother-in-law and sister-in-law as well as meeting all the responsibilities of your own family. God is with you at all times and will give you the strength and fortitude to handle all the responsibilities that you are facing.

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    1. Thank you, my dear friend. Knowing you are lifting us in prayer means SO much! I am praying for you, too, and trusting all is well in your world. Sending much love and gratitude your way!

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  7. This is so beautiful Cheryl! Thank you for sharing all of these encouraging Scriptures and precious thoughts. To remember that He sees every hidden drop-off and will yet guide my steps when I cannot see, is so comforting. I am holding onto these thoughts now as I begin new medications. Jesus is my guide! You are in my prayers as He guides your family too. May you hear His voice leading you! Hugs & Love & Blessings to you.

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    1. Oh, I do trust Jesus to allow these new medications to be what you need, sweet friend! I am praying for you and believing alongside you. Your precious words of encouragement mean so much to me. Sending love and hugs and blessings back to you a hundredfold!

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  8. The bottom has indeed dropped out from under us a few times over the last few weeks. Last week God came up underneath and pushed us back to the top of the water. Like Peter, sometimes I take my eyes off of the LORD and try to figure it out by myself. Things just don't work well that way.

    Glad I dropped by tonight.
    Hugs,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. It is so wonderful to know that His everlasting arms are always underneath us, and no matter how far the "bottom" is for us, He is still beneath it all upholding us and tenderly caring for us. Glad you dropped by, too, and sending hugs back your way!

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  9. These are great thoughts and a great analogy. We walk by faith, 'cause you're right, it's not a matter of if, but when we fall into a drop off and the only thing that can save us physically and spiritually is our Father's hand.

    Oh man. Between the rivers and the lakes... we're only here to tell the tale due to the mighty hand of God...

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    1. So true, brother. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. God bless you always!

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  10. Hi Sweet Friend! Oh I've missed having time to spend at your precious blog! I've been working two jobs (covering for a co-worker) and full-time to boot which I haven't worked in 28 years! And my nights have been just as crazy busy. I have a whole new respect for people who work full-time!

    Your words here today were such a comfort to me. I love the analogy of the river and all the Scripture verses you shared regarding different seasons of uncertainty and the Hope we find in His Word.

    Thank you for always faithfully sharing your heart and ministering to those who have the absolutely blessing of reading your blog.

    I have been lifting you and your family up to the Lord and praying He you are feeling His peace.

    Sending you much love dear friend,

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    1. Oh, my, bless your dear heart! It sounds like you are working so hard! I am so very thankful for your visit and kind words and so grateful you found comfort here. You will never know how much my family and I appreciate your prayers and loving support. You are such a dear, precious friend, and I appreciate you so very much. May the Lord bless you abundantly!

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  11. I am so sorry I haven’t already commented on this timely post. It seems that life gets busier and busier. But in the busy, I need to be still and listen to Him. Thank you for teaching the truth of God’s Word, you have a wonderful gift of writing. Blessings and prayers always dear friend!

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    1. Oh, I surely understand being busy. :) It is such a blessing to have you stop by, no matter how long it takes, my friend. You are such a blessing and encouragement to me! Thank you so much for your kind words. May the Lord bless you richly!

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