Stepping Stones

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In life there are stepping stones much like those meticulously placed in ponds and streams by landscape architects and gardeners.  They bridge the gap between one piece of solid ground and another.  Recently, I have found myself standing on shaky ground.  Within a very short period of time, death has touched our family twice.  First, a beloved uncle passed away in his winter years, and then more recently, a good friend and co-worker of my husband died suddenly while on vacation with his wife.  When death and tragedy hit so close to home, we come face to face with the fragility of life.  It is in times like these that my stones of faith have been laid.  Each stone represents an experience in life, a lesson learned, and a step of faith.  And each stone has carried me to a place of deeper fellowship with the Lord.

We shouldn’t be surprised when difficulties come our way, but instead, consider them times to better learn to fully depend on Him.  When we realize that each of our trials is an opportunity to see God at work and to be a witness of His greatness for others, our faith is grown and His glory shared.  “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  (I Peter 1:6-7)

Our response in times of trouble is crucial.  It is not the time to waiver in our faith.  But instead, to turn to Him for support and direction.  It is easy to try to depend on our own strength, but we will find that by doing so our efforts are fruitless.  We will sink in the stressful moments that are sure to come our way.  But, God offers calm in the midst of the storm and stepping stones in the middle of deep waters.  “Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm.”  (Mark 4:39)  And in those calm moments His loving strength is revealed.  When we focus on Him, He will show us the higher ground which leads us over the water.

Are you going through a situation in your life that you can’t handle on your own?  Then look to the Lord.  He longs to comfort you and bring peace into your life.  He is strong enough for all your burdens!  With each trial you give to Him, He will lay another stepping stone before you upon which to firmly place your feet while you travel through deep water.  I am praising God for the stepping stones of my faith, each lovingly and beautifully placed by the faithful hands of Christ.

Trusting in Him,






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30 comments

  1. Joan - I am so sorry for your loss. Just last week, I received a call from a friend and her husband passed away suddenly of a massive heart attack. Life is indeed, but a vapor.

    John and I were just discussing the fact that we will have trials and difficulties, but Jesus said He leaves us peace.

    I'm thankful for those stepping stones of faith.

    Blessings...

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  2. "Each stone represents an experience in life, a lesson learned, and a step of faith."  Beautiful, Joan. I have linked up with you a similar post I wrote yesterday, "The Door in the Wall". When we follow the seemingly endless wall (of maybe darkness or sickness) with steadfast faith, undying hope and patience, we will find the Door to freedom and strength.
    Indeed, all our trials are just stepping stones to a more intimate relationship with God.

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  3. These stepping stones of faith are where our journey of faith starts; we must understand and be
    assured that God loves us and will stand by us in the good times and the
    bad. He always stays very near and protects us when we are vulnerable and faint. So true; He is strong enough for all our burdens! Blessings to you and the family of your friend who lost his life so suddenly; prayers for God's comfort and strength....Denise

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  4. I am sorry for the loss you have suffered recently. 

    I also wrote on trials and their effects on our lives.  Although it is hard, God always meets us and teaches us.

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  5. Trusting in God's stepping stones right now...

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  6. Joan, I so love "God offers calm in the midst of the storm and stepping stones in the middle of deep waters." Oh, what comforting words those are.
    Sorry to hear about your loss.

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  7. It really brings it home how we need to celebrate each day that the Lord gives us!  Life is indeed a gift!

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  8. Our trials are an opportunity to grow in the Lord...I am so thankful for that!  Blessings, Rina!

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  9. Thank you, Denise.  It is such an encouragement to have the Lord by our side during all times in our life!

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  10. I am so thankful for God's touch and how He teaches through all situations!  He is, indeed, a compassionate God!

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  11. It is always right beside us!  

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  12. Thanks, Salina!  I am so thankful for His stepping stones.  I can trust that He'll always place them right in front of me!

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  13. Amen. I can surely testify to the truth of all you've said here, Joan. Though I'd never wish to relive them, it was those times of trial or loss, when I knew I couldn't handle situations on my own, that I came to know Him more deeply and discover how amazingly He helps. Prayer for you in your time of loss.

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  14. God refines us and purifies us through times of trials.  You are right, there are many in my life that I have no wish to repeat.  However, the lessons learned and the faith gained from them is priceless!

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  15. We just returned home for a wedding for our Foster Granddaughter - Afterwards we stopped at our Foster Daughter Nancy's lovely home for a short visit.  Along her narrow side walk and up to her front proch, there were large flat stepping stones, that provided additional stepping space.  She really needed this more walk space, as her home is an oasis for many who stop by.  I am so happy that we took her in when she was 12 and provided a stable place for her to grow in the Lord.  There are times when God sees that we need more space to walk and he is willing to provide it for us. 

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  16. This is the second post I read tonight about storms in life.

    One of my friends had asked me a week ago why I stay to calm through all the highs and lows of my husband's health issues. I told her that if it were not for my faith, I would have already lost it. I know that God is walking with me, and maybe even carrying me at this point. I trust in Him to see my husband through to health again.

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  17. So true! And knowing that He goes before us is such an encouragement!

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  18. What a blessing that even during your trials you are able to be a witness for Christ! I am praying for you and your husband!

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  19. Amen, amen.

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  20. Thank you for sharing this, Joan. I am always glad when, during those times of loss and trouble, a sister will gently take me by the hand and lead me back to Jesus. It is the ONLY place I can find solace, comfort and strength. But sometimes it is the last place I'm looking.

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  21. Often, like what you wrote above, going to Jesus for our solace, comfort and strength, is the option we take after we've tried many others.  Strange, isn't it?  Because if we went directly to Him, we would avoid so much stress and struggle.  It takes  a conscious effort to remind ourselves to Whom we need to run to...but with practice, it will come more and more naturally.  I'm hanging onto James 1:2-4 today!

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  22. Love the analogy of the stepping stones! Thanks for the reminder that He is with us through all trials, our sure foundation!
    Love in Him,
    Laurie


    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/
     

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  23. The picture and your words are beautiful reminders that He orders our steps! Thank you!

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  24. What an inspiring post and assurance that God really cares:)

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  25. So glad to be standing on the Rock!

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  26. He has a plan for us and His plan is good!

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  27. It is a blessing to be loved by God!  I'm looking to Him for each step I take!

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