My baby is not on her feet yet, but already she knows instability. On hands and knees. Rock, rock, rock. Slide a knee. Lift a hand. Oomph – bellyflop. Up again. Pitch forward. Faceplant. Waaaaaa….
But whether it’s learning how to crawl or walk, or simply how to keep from falling, we’ve all been there… unstable. Trying to climb the grassy slope just after it rained. Balancing on one rock in the middle of the stream while testing every other rock within toe-reach. Tottering on a railroad, curb, or wall… look at me!! Waddling and off-balance due to pregnancy. Carrying a baby down uneven basement steps. Spinning faster and faster on a Hoverboard that won’t stop! Clutching a cane or walker, hesitating over that next step.
Not that we remember learning how to walk. Not that I know what it’s like to clutch a cane.
And why do I try to identify with Peter, losing my footing on the waves because I took my eyes off Jesus? Forget being Peter; I’m the terrified disciple who doesn’t even have the courage to leave the boat.
Faith? What’s that?
If I slide back down the hill or tumble and scrape my knee or faceplant on the carpet or wipe out in a ballgame and break my hand, well, no problem. (You’ll be better before you’re married, they always told me. Sure enough, I was – the bone fused long before I was marriage material.) I fall, I heal, I move on.
But unstable footing spiritually, or in making huge life decisions – now that’s terrifying. What’s the next step? How do I take the next step when I know how? Will I have the courage to take the next step when I know the what, when, where, how?
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved.
He will not allow your foot to slip.
He will not let you stumble.Psalm 121:3
If that’s not reassuring enough, flip through your Bible a little more. Here’s a sampling of promises:
He will keep the feet of his saints.1 Samuel 2:9
Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.Proverbs 3:23,26
Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.Psalm 18:36
There are more verses, similar. And if the concept of stable footing isn’t convincing enough, keep looking and you’ll find many more verses on God shielding you, God watching you, God holding you, God keeping you.
Talk about ultimate security. Ultimate stability.
My baby knows it’s time she learns to crawl. She’s not giving up, no matter how red her little knees are becoming, no matter how many times she faceplants into the carpet.
I know it’s time for me to learn to walk too. I need to quit cowering in the corner of the boat. I’m sure to be like Peter and start sinking. But if I focus and refocus my eyes on Jesus, whether on land or on water, each next step can be secure. Stable.