Sunday, April 13, 2008

In Praise of Large Steps

"Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip" (Psl 18:36)

At one time, my husband and I, along with our two younger children, lived in a two-story house in Michigan with a big front porch and a swing to go with it. I enjoyed that house very much except for one thing: the basement stairs. Oh, the stairway itself was nice and wide, with a good, substantial handrail, but the stairs themselves were so short that you almost had to turn your foot sideways to keep from slipping off them. More than once, I had to catch myself with that sturdy banister. For my money, I would rather have had a narrower stairway with larger steps.

We read in Matthew 7, "[N]arrow is the way, which leadeth unto life," and, sometimes it can seem narrower than at other times…especially when you're young. After you've lived for awhile, however, you learn there is nothing as confining as sin. During those times of perceived narrowness, it's nice to know there can still be sure-footing, because the steps under us are large and substantial. And, if need be, David says, God will even enlarge them for us.

This verse is of even greater comfort to me as I get older. Not because I fret more about the narrow way. (I haven't gotten this old without learning something, after all!) But, the thing is, the older one gets the easier it is to slip and fall. (Remember David?) Maybe it's because we're too tempted to look back over our shoulders at the way things used to be. This is not such a bad long as we remember there's a road ahead that deserves our greater attention. The past is a clock that can only tell us what time it was, and to keep looking back is to lose sight of what is, and even more important, what can be.
So, with this truth in mind, I venture out into tomorrow with the blessed assurance that as I lift each foot, there will always be a nice, large step to plant it on. And, by God's grace, I won't slip.

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