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{For Helen}

Psalm 37 [David]


The Lord makes firm the steps

    of the one who delights in him;


though he may stumble, he will not fall,

    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

I distinctly remember watching both of my children as they first learned to walk.

One day, your child is standing still, she gets that sparkle in her eyes…and then she steps. You hold your breath, not wanting to shout for joy, as you don’t want to startle her. Will she do it again? You can barely contain yourself as you wait. You watch as she pauses and thinks for a moment, her face suddenly serious. Then, with great effort, she picks up the other foot and steps. Her arms are splayed outward as she wobbles uncertainly, and inevitably, she plops down. Startled and frustrated, she cries inconsolably. You reach out, saying, “Ssshhhh, come on, let’s try again” and help her up, this time, holding her chubby little fists in your hands. You step with your left foot, and she matches you; you step with your right foot, and she matches you.

God does not promise that we won’t stumble or fall down; in fact, the verse above guarantees that we will indeed do so. God does not say, “I’m going to make sure you feel loved and fulfilled every day of your life. I’m going to prevent this storm from flooding your home. I’m going to prevent this disease from taking over your body. I’m going to keep your loved one from dying.”

What God does say is, “I’m going to comfort you on the days you hate your life. I’m going to send workers from a church to help you fix your flood-ravaged home. I’m going to clutch your hand when this disease takes over your body. I’m going to embrace you when your loved one dies. Believe Me, all of those things and worse will come to pass, but you will feel My love, both in prayer, and through the concern of others. Remember this, most of all: I watched Jesus stumble down that dusty road dragging a cross on his ravaged back. I didn’t prevent My Own Son from dying, so I know what suffering is all about. Now, here we go. I have your hands clasped in Mine; now move your left foot…now your right…that’s it. Just match My steps.”

Proverbs 20:24

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.

How then can anyone understand their own way?

Step…out of your comfort zone

Step…over an obstacle

Step…into forgiveness

Step…through your pain

Step…beneath the wings of security

Step…between your fears

Step…around weakness

Step…behind the Protector

Step…beside your friends

Step…with a heart, cracked open and pouring out gratitude


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  1. What a meaningful and comforting message. Thank you! God has given you a wonderful gift and it’s such a blessing that you share your gift of writing with others.

  2. Just returned from Florida where I attended the funeral of my cousin (I only had two). She was the closest thing I had to a big sister. This is the perfect message for my soul. You are so right that God loves us through our trials and, I believe, through our mistakes as well. He IS Love. Loving is what He does.