In Rob Morgan’s book, The Jordan River Rules, Rob writes, “Life unfolds in stages, but we take it in steps.” Joshua 1:1-2 say, “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”
Joshua was entering another stage of life and had some important steps to take and he took them. He moved forward and took the necessary steps.
Think about your life.
Have you noticed that to be true? I have. Stages and steps. I break down my life in stages, childhood, teen years, college, early married, children, empty nest, grandchildren, retirement. I group together the years we lived in certain places. Then when we were missionaries, I remember each term and stateside assignment. I can break it down in my mind very neatly, the stages and the steps that moved us from one stage to another. God wants us to more forward. We can’t go from one stage to another without taking steps. We have to put our foot down, take a step, and move forward.
In most cases, the stages came naturally and fairly easily. I stepped into marriage and then having children with joy. I was excited to take those steps. As a missionary, the stages of ministry came naturally, although not always easily, but I stepped into each stage because I knew it was God’s will.
Now that we are older, the stages are different and harder to step into. No one really likes the idea of aging. I don’t enjoy not being able to do many of the things I did 30 years ago. We have to pace ourselves more because our energy runs out if we do too much. Like it or not, that is the stage I am in now.
I like the idea of being proactive in every stage, even this one of aging. I ask myself, “How can I enjoy this stage of life?” “What can I do today to make my life easier not only today but in the years ahead?” “Any what can I do to make things easier on our children?” We all have our list and it might include downsizing, eliminating clutter, keeping our children informed as to our health and our plans. I’ve been taking steps to do those things.
Are you moving forward or do you want to just dig your heels in and stay where you are? I don’t think God gives us that option. Let’s move forward to whatever stage is next and realize this most important fact: God is right there with us and will help us every step of the way.
This song by W. Elmo Mercer is an old-time favorite. Take a moment and sing it aloud or in your thoughts. (I had to carry on Steve’s tradition of including a song.)
Each Step I take
1. Each step I take my Saviour goes before me, And with His loving hand He leads the way, And with each breath I whisper "I adore Thee;" Oh, what joy to walk with Him each day.
Chorus: Each step I take I know that He will guide me;
To higher ground He ever leads me on.
Until some day the last step will be taken.
Each step I take just leads me closer home.
2. At times I feel my faith begin to waver, When up ahead I see a chasm wide. It's then I turn and look up to my Saviour, I am strong when He is by my side.
3. I trust in God, no matter come what may, For life eternal in His hand, He holds the key that opens up the way, That will lead me to the promised land.