As an infant and not yet walking, Jessica climbed upon Jim’s shoes and pulled herself up by his legs to grab hold of his hands. Each tiny foot rested on one of Jim’s size 12’s so that as he walked, she walked, matching him stride for stride and giggling at her new ride.
When she was three years old, Jessica toddled behind Daddy. Her tiny feet slapped on the sidewalk, struggling to keep up with his 6’2″ gait. A year later Jessica stopped walking and ran everywhere. “Daddy, hurry and look at this.” Or, “Daddy, wait for me,” she yelled, running to catch up. When the kindergarten teacher announced, “No running on the playground,” Jessica protested. “That’s a silly rule. You’re supposed to run on playgrounds,” she said as she dashed over uneven ground to join a friend on the swing set.
Jessica ran throughout her teen years, mainly to stay ahead and avoid being seen with parents. She sprinted into her 20’s past milestones…college graduation, first job, first marriage, first home. She didn’t stop running until the marriage ran aground. For two years, she crawled toward renewed confidence and wisdom. When Jessica regained her footing, she walked down the aisle again.
Last night, Jim and I joined Jessica and Gabe’s family for an evening together at Main Event. After two rounds of bowling, Jessica and Gabe strolled off to explore another game. I watched as they returned from the far side of the building. Unlike her toddler and teen years, Jessica walked comfortably beside him, her hand resting in the crook of his arm, his hand resting atop hers. She smiled and tilted her face toward Gabe to say something. He laughed and shook his head at whatever remark she made. They walked as one. Jessica walked beside Gabe, never rushing ahead or running from behind. She matched him stride for stride, holding his arm.
Watching them reminded me. Building a faith that’s in stride with God takes a lifetime. I’m growing into the pace He set for me, but only after toddling, following, stumbling and falling. Like Jessica, I rushed everywhere. I rarely slowed to enjoy the moment or consider other options and sometimes flew past the right turn.
Oswald Chambers suggested the better way: “Getting into stride with God means nothing less than union with Himself. It takes a long time to get there but keep at it. Don’t give in
because the pain is bad just now, but get on with it, and before long you will find you have a new vision and purpose.” (My Utmost for His Highest, October 12) So, each day I imagine myself walking by His side, resting my hand in the crook of His arm, His hand resting atop mine. We’re talking and walking together. I’m not pulling ahead nor falling behind. I’m matching Him stride for stride.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. (Genesis 6:9 NIV)
©2011 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.