Stepping Stones

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This is a repost from when my father first became ill just over a year ago. But, as his heath is steadily declining, the focus of what is written here is strongly on my mind.  The topic of trials is a challenging one, but, I can see that God's beauty still shines through.  As I travel this challenging road along with my parents, I know that our God is right beside us, helping to keep us steady.  Thank you to everyone who so faithfully visits this blog and links up on Mondays.

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. A loved one is going through a serious health concern and because of that I have 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 Christ, 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.


Living for Him, 

Joan








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22 comments

  1. I am so sorry, Joan, that you are facing your father's health issues.  I faced that with my father-in-law and it's hard on your heart.  Knowing we can turn to God is a blessed privilege. I often wonder what people do without a "Heavenly Father above,with eyes full of mercy and a heart full of love.  He really cares when your head is bowed low.  Consider the lilies, and then you will know."

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  2. Joan, you have no idea how poignant this post is right now!  I am so glad you re-posted it!  Beautiful words which are really helpful.  Thank you.

    Wendy

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  3. A beautiful re-post friend; sending all my love and hugs to you and your family, and praying for your father. You know God will take care of all of your today's and all of your tomorrows, and
    knowing this will release you from worry and despair as you place your trust in Him for strength and peace. :)

    Blessings and love,
    Denise

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  4. Thank you, Pamela.  I don't know how I would get through this time without God!  It is such a comfort to know that He cares and that He is right beside us.

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  5. From the words of your comment, you must be going through a similar situation.  I am praying for strength and comfort for you as you face this time.

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  6. When we see someone we love suffering, it is hard to handle...let alone understand.  But, we can trust that God will bring good from any trial.  He cares for everyone of us.  And, knowing that He is with us brings strength to face each challenge.  Blessings, Denise!

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  7. Hi Joan - your post reminds me of that saying, look up so that you don't get side tracked by all that's going on around you.  Sometimes life is really tough and our only hope is God.  Only He gets us through.  Only He gives us hope and peace.  Great reminder that He is in control
    God bless
    Tracy

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  8. I love that you understand trials as a time to let go and rely upon God.  I absolutely agree when you write..."It is easy to try to depend on our own strength, but we will find that by doing so our efforts are fruitless." Lately, I've been learning to yield, be quiet, and rest in Him, rather than believing He's given me the will and the wisdom to do it on my own.  I pray your strength in all things to come.
    Peace and good to you.

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  9. Yes, God is the one in control and I'm so thankful for that!  I have found that as I go through a difficult time, keeping my eyes on the Lord is the only thing that gets me through!

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  10. Thank you for your encouraging comment!  I am learning to yield, be quiet and to rest in Him, too.  He is the one who carries us through!  Blessings!

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  11. What a lovely and encouraging post, Joan! Praise God that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
    Love in Him,
    Laurie

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  12. Yes, it is only in His strength that we are able to face the trials in our lives.  I am so thankful for our God!

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  13. Wouldn't be wonderful if we could just walk on water and did not need the stepping stones.  How thankful I am for each one placed there for me feet !!

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  14. Enjoyed this.

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  15. That would be nice...but like you, I am so thankful for each one placed there for my feet!  Blessings, Hazel.

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  16. Thanks, Denise.  Have a blessed day!

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  17. Joan, this was wonderfully encouraging.  Thank you.  I also am dealing with aging parents - and they are quite difficult at times.  But I know that God is in the middle of our relationship, and He will work His purposes as we all go through this new journey of old age.

    GOD BLESS!

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  18. Yes, God will work His purposes through all things.  I am trusting in Him each day!

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  19. Your blessings in heaven will be great for taking such care of your family. Great lesson too. God bless!

    Encouraging Thoughts for Life

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  20. What a wonderful analogy, Joan! I've been thinking a lot about stones, lately, anyway! What a comfort to know that we can count on Him to provide each stone that gets us across those difficult paths and deep waters! Your father and you and your family are in my prayers!  My dad passed to glory long ago, but he was also ill for many years prior to his going. It isn't easy to see those we love suffering!  Love ya, my sister in Christ!

    In His Lo♥e, Ann

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  21. Hi Ann!  You're so right.  Watching our loved ones suffer is a difficult thing.  I'm so thankful for the strength that God is providing for our family during this time.  Blessings to you!

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  22. Thank you for your kind words, Derrick.  We're taking it one day at a time with God at our side!

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