Jan 18, 2012

in His steps

". . . but when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps." {1 Peter 2:20b, 21}

It is quite unusual for me to write another post so soon, but being stuck in an apartment due to a snowstorm has allowed me to think, I suppose. So, as I sit in a nearby coffee shop, sipping on my chai tea and looking out at the white covered streets and freshly falling flakes, I want to share a small reminder that God allowed me to see this morning.

I ventured outside this morning for a walk. Growing up in the northwest, I rarely have need for snow shoes, so I wore the only waterproof shoes I own: a pair of low-wedge boots. Not particularly the best shoes for the snow, but all I had. As I made my way down the steep driveway, I slipped and nearly fell more times than I would want to admit. My shaky walk continued uneventfully and I soon made my way back up the steep driveway to get to my studio. Gravity was not on my side, so it was clearly harder to go up than it had been to come down. I slipped several times again, and comically slid back down the hill, losing all the steps that I had gained. 

Then I saw them: boot prints. Large boot prints of someone with sturdy steps in the snow. I stepped into the much-larger boot prints and was able to walk up the steep driveway by following the steps of my unknown hero with the big boots. I made it up to my studio and realized, Isn't this the life of the disciple of Jesus? To follow in His steps?

Just as Peter noted in the aforementioned verse, Jesus suffered. We too, when we choose to follow in His steps, will experience trials and suffering. But how wonderful that we have an "example, that [we] should follow in His steps" {v.21}. Jesus lived the perfect life and now we can live our lives pursuing to follow His trustworthy steps. 

Just as my boot prints fit in the much-larger boot prints of the one who climbed up that steep driveway before me and I was able to climb up the slippery hill, my spiritual "feet" can fit in the larger-than-life footsteps of the One who walked before me when I surrender my own plans and paths to follow where His steps lead. That is the trustworthy path. Yes, often the harder path, but peace comes from following where He leads us. This has been my constant lesson as I often try to make my own way through slippery paths, losing my balance and stumbling in my own struggle.  But, oh, the peace and rest of following behind the steps of Jesus. 

The beautiful feet of Jesus stepped on many dirt-covered roads, giving hope where there had been only hopelessness; joy where there was sorrow; life where there had only been death  . . . 

His steps led Him to reach down to the woman caught in adultery 
      and bring forgiveness + redemption to a broken life {John 8}
His steps led Him to heal the blind -- 
      both physically and spiritually {John 9}
His steps led Him to enter a boat where He revealed His divinity by 
       calming the stormy gale with the words, "Be still" {Luke 8}
His steps led Him to the wilderness, feeding 5,000 hungry people who 
       hungered for the Truth even more than a meal {Luke 9}
His steps led Him to restore healing + worth to men, women, and children 
       who the world labeled as worthless and hopeless {Luke 9, 14, 17, 18}
His steps led Him to the hill of Calvary, where He shed His blood for my 
       sins and made it possible for me to walk in His steps {Luke 23}

May we pursue a life that is centered on walking in Jesus' footsteps, which may mean bringing the Good News to those caught in destructive sin, bringing "sight"to the spiritually blind who have lost all hope, speaking words of encouragement in the lives of those traveling through their own "stormy gale" of suffering, feeding the hungry {physically and spiritually}, and going wherever His steps lead. 

Some wise words that have helped me remember this lesson in the past:

"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You"
{2 Chronicles 21:12 ESV}

Being in doubt I say,
"Lord, make it plain;
Which is the true, safe way?
Which would be gain?
I am not wise to know,
Nor sure of foot to go;
What is so clear to Thee,
Lord, make it clear to me!"

"Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it'" {Isaiah 30:21}

"He leads us on by paths we did not know;
Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
Though oft we faint and falter on the way;
Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;
Yet when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on


He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts, and fears,
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows, and o'er clouded days;
We know His will is done
And still He leads us on"
[Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1700-1760]




{taken during my morning walk}

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the sweet comments today. I love your blog! And I'm so glad we connected. I loved reading your encouraging and true words in this post - God is so good.

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  2. This is lovely :)
    I am now having my snow day TODAY
    I took the liberty of writing a short post about this on my own blog and linking back to you.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I live in Florida...so I'm a long way from the snow! Love how you relate the footsteps to Jesus' footsteps. Love your blog...I'm going to stick around and take a peek...Happy Blogging!
    -Patti

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  4. Love the imagery you paint with your words. And the beautiful pictures to accompany :) May God give you more opportunities to see Him in every circumstance... and write about it.

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Elle Alice