Devotions from Psalms Series: The Steps of Life

Sometimes, steps can lead to uncommon sites.

Porter’s Creek Trail is a popular trail in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The first mile of the trail is a wide gravel path that passes the remains of several old homesites surrounded by rock walls. In the middle of an odd area, a set of rickety stone stairs leads upward. As I climbed to the top, a small cemetery awaited—a family cemetery from long ago with mostly illegible headstones.

The psalmist was confident God directed the steps of His followers. “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (Psalm 37:23 NLT). Delightfully, God walks along with us as we traverse the steps of life.

Like the steps leading up to the old cemetery, life’s steps can be slippery, uneven, or solid. Had it recently rained, I would have scaled the ancient steps more carefully. Green moss on them would have slowed me down as well. I know what moss on a wet surface can do. Though some may have fallen on these steps, the steps have stood the test of time. Hundreds of years later, they still carry visitors to the old cemetery.

Our life’s steps will always lead somewhere. When ordered by God, a destination awaits—one that will be brighter than the spot we’re currently in if we let him lead us all the way through. On the way, the steps may take us through valley experiences, desert depths, and over mountain peaks, but with God guiding we don’t have to fear any of those experiences.

Whatever steps God takes us up, we can rest assured he precedes us like a shepherd leading sheep to a greener pasture. The shepherd has already been there and removed poisonous weeds and checked for danger. While climbing the steps, God will walk beside us. If we slip, he will pick us up. If we twist our ankles, he will mend the hurt.

God also designs the steps of life to test our character. Numerous biblical stories and countless testimonies by Christian saints show this. God’s ordered steps for us are never concocted to destroy, but to build up and make us stronger spiritually than we’ve ever been before.

As you climb the steps of life, remember who built them and that they are designed to lead you to a place of stronger character.

Photo by Bartosz Gorlewicz on Unsplash