The First Step…
She watched excitedly, yet nervously as the wobbling child lifted his leg. Will he do it? Will he finally take his first step she thought? She had waited for what seemed like forever for this moment. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she looked so proudly towards him.
The first step for a young child is always the hardest. This couldn’t be truer in Isaac’s case. Within the first eight months of his precious life there were signs that he was delayed. As cute as he could be, we all rallied around him, helping to assist in bringing him along.
For my sister, Christina, the hardest step was to feel comfortable with being open about the delays and sharing with others. She soon realized that the only way she could help her son was to take every road possible, offering him whatever assistance he needed. I’ll never forget the somber day when she received the diagnosis that her son was showing early signs of autism (Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3). She was so broken and asked God, “why?”
After she had a few days to take it all in and the news settled, she knew she needed to fight for her son, who was unable to fight for himself. Christina took all the steps possible to become educated on autism. She jumped on signing Isaac up for every service and assistance she could find for him. Her life became completely committed to doing everything she could in being the voice for her little boy.
As a Christian, often we are delayed in holding fast to the promises of God? Here He, our loving Daddy, has made the way and offered everything we need to walk in total faith. Yet fear worries us sick. We forget all that the Lord has done and how He has shown so much faithfulness in our lives.
A story that has had a huge impact on my life before I went into ministry is found in Matthew 14:25-33. You have the disciples hanging out with Jesus. They watched Him take fives loaves and two fish and multiply them to feed more than 5000 people that were there. An absolute miracle! I don’t know about you, but if I saw this I think my faith would be so strong and founded that I would never doubt God again! I just might not ever question anything again… Not true, I am human as were the disciples!
Right after this, Jesus sent them out in a boat and if you haven’t read the story, this is where it gets good. Jesus sends a storm and then walks on water out to the disciples. It was in the night hours and they were freaking out! Talk about a fright; they see someone walking to them on the water and the waves are going crazy! I can just see Jesus being like, “Watch this.” Maybe He and God were cracking up while the disciples were peeing their pants thinking, “There’s a ghost.”
Nonetheless, Peter challenged Jesus saying, “If it is really You, call me out of the boat.” What I love is that Jesus replied, “Come.” It was almost as if there was an invitation for all the disciples to step out. Peter was the only one nuts enough to do it! Next to Jesus He was the only guy who ever walked on water. If you surf, you can imagine how amazing this would be (or if you can’t swim).
When the Lord placed Kauai on my heart for ministry, at first I was in disbelief that He could call someone to Hawaii. I remember going to bed apologizing to the Lord because of it. That night I had a radical dream about kids perishing on Kauai (literally dropping dead) without the gospel and when I awoke, I was afraid of not going! As I shared my heart with others, there were a variety of responses. Most were chuckles or out loud bursts of laughter. People thought, as I had, “What a place to go reach people.” The more I heard this, the more I tried to convince myself that I shouldn’t go.
After I graduated from Bible college, I was driving home, alone in my car talking to the Lord, asking if I was really supposed to go to Hawaii. On the radio I heard a pastor talking about this story in Matthew. I remember hearing the Lord ask me, “Sarah, will you step out of the boat, or be the one who stays put?” I don’t want to be the Christian who stays put in their walk with God. I want to be a part of sharing His name and love with others.
Although there were a lot of “I don’t knows” and “Lord how are you going to do this,” with the Lord’s great strength, I was able to take that wobbly first step myself. It seems to be just as hard with the steps that have followed. In fact, the reason I am sharing this is because as I asked the Lord what He wanted me to write about, this is what He has placed on my heart.
I receive many emails from people and often they are from those hurting with life’s pains and unknown futures. Some have had a rough day, a rough year and some a rough life. They have had to fight for every step like Christina has had to do for Isaac.
I had a girl write me the other day asking, “If God is so good and faithful, why hasn’t my dad found a job in over a year?” Immediately I told her He is faithful and in His time, He will provide! I shared how I too had to trust things to Him right now, but I knew He would take care of it. At that moment I had total conviction come over me. Here I was sick all day about things going on in my own life that I should be trusting to God, but I hadn’t been.
You see when we take one step it’s easy to take the next right away. With every step I took coming here to Kauai, the Lord has provided! For the past five years, I was on staff with a church and although that aloud me to focus more on outreach, it also made me dependant on a paycheck instead of the Lord. I was not trusting God each month to get by because I was assured money was coming in.
Lately I have felt that the Lord is calling me to step out in faith and trust Him for provision. He is doing new things in my life and ministry and opening a lot of exciting doors, but with each door I must walk through, I am doing it in faith. I might be back to the “I don’t knows” and “Lord how are you going to do this,” but I know this is where the Lord is leading. As I shared with all the kids this week, “I don’t know how, but I know He will, and I can’t wait to share with you how He does.”
God wants us to walk by faith not by sight (2 Chor.5:7). There are so many great verses about walking with Jesus – not ahead of Him. His promises are true and if we have to learn that for the first time or all over again, Praise God! He will never give us more than we can handle. He wants to grow us and shape us and mature us. He has given us every resource we need with the Bible and prayer. Take advantage of this time and when in doubt, play worship music or read!
Isaac is Christina’s miracle baby. She had such a difficult time getting pregnant. She had several miscarriages. Her heart was so broken. She was steadfast in prayer and Gods promises and she got pregnant with Isaac. He is the best thing ever. God has also given Christina the strength to fight for her precious son. Although getting him to take those first steps were difficult, it lead to the most beautiful and rewarding thing; her baby walking! Ten years ago, I put my car on a boat to Kauai and had to follow. It was the hardest step I had taken at the time and there have been a lot of trials and battles along the way. In that, though, it has lead to being a part of something I could have never dreamed possible! Seeing kids lives changed and them giving their hearts to Jesus is amazing! God has always been faithful! He knows why we are where we are, so let’s just trust, worship and thank Him that He made a way for us through His Son being born. Happy Birthday Jesus!
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.