Take the First Step

Lao Tzu coined a common yet inspiring quote: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Any journey in life begins with the simple action of deciding to take the very first step necessary to embark upon a new venture, and this first step requires faith. A journey might relate to a physical journey or an emotional or spiritual journey, such as taking control of your health, overcoming a bad habit, working on that difficult relationship, or moving across the country. No two journeys are alike; however, all journeys start with the action of daring to venture into the unknown. Paradoxically, the first step is usually relatively easy in nature yet, at the same time, dauntingly difficult to actually take. Envisioning a new venture is challenging enough let alone acting upon those thoughts or promptings from the Lord.

When we risk moving forward from the safety and comfort of the known, we face our fears. We are willing to be stretched and challenged in order to grow and evolve into that which we long to experience or become. We make a conscious choice to risk failure in the pursuit of what others consider merely a dream. By taking that first step, we ultimately refuse to continue settling for less than God’s best for our lives.

Is there something God keeps putting on your heart to do? Maybe it’s time to just take the first step.

What Is Coming Is Better Than What Is Gone

This simple decorative piece sits on the corner of my desk. I have it there as a daily reminder. When life’s struggles creep in, it can be hard to remember that there is hope for a better future. 

Our family’s journey has not looked like most people. For many years, things were extremely hard, and every time we thought things were going to get better, the rug was pulled out from underneath us. It is hard to hold on to hope when this is your daily experience over a prolonged period of time. I have such empathy for the many people who have experienced this in 2020!

Hope deferred truly does make the heart weary. When I start to doubt, I look at the words “What is coming is better than what is gone,” and I feel my hope renewed. God promises to make all things new; when I am able to focus on that, I am able to hold on to His ability to restore me.

The word restore means to bring back to a former condition, place or position. But God takes it a step farther. When He restores, He makes it better than it was before. So that means that what is coming truly is better than what is gone. 

What Are You Thinking Going Into 2021?

My sweet daughter surprised me with this inspirational writing pad that says “FUTURE BESTSELLER.” She noticed that I have several yellow writing pads all over my desk that have my notes, to-do lists, and writing scribbled on them. She made a simple—yet profound— statement that I needed something better for my writing.

Her simple statement got me thinking. Where else do I need to change my thoughts? What should I be thinking going into the start of next year? And because of that, I’ve changed my inner dialogue to what I want to experience in 2021.

What are you thinking going into 2021?

Great Miracles Come From Small Things

As we draw closer to Christmas, the words from one of my favorite holiday songs keeps playing in my head. The song is about the magi following the star to find baby Jesus. Even though Jesus is small, they recognize that He is a King with the ability to bring us all together. The central theme running throughout the song is that even great miracles come from small things.

When I look around at all that has happened over the course of this year—especially as of late—I see many parallels between the time Jesus was born into and the time in which we are currently living. There was great conflict in Israel at the time of Jesus’ birth and it was the stars in the sky that signaled His arrival, which was to change the world forever. However, most of the people during Jesus’ lifetime didn’t understand who He was and what He was doing for them.

And what is going on today? Conflict and turmoil on a worldwide scale. As well as signs and wonders in the sky, as showcased by the Christmas Star conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21st; an event that hadn’t occurred in nearly 800 years. 

Jesus once said, “You know how to tell a change in the weather, so don’t tell me you can’t tell a change in the season, the God-season we’re in right now.” (Luke 12:56, MSG) 

The same thing is occurring today. God is moving in new ways but it doesn’t look or feel like we expect it to be. Many are not recognizing His hand in current events because it doesn’t make sense. All breakthroughs are preceded by limited sight, uncertainty, and oftentimes a battle to hold on to the promise until it manifests.

We are at a uniquely pivotal time in history right now. All the signs are heralding that something special is coming. Just like the magi, we need to embrace it with hopeful anticipation. And we are nearing the celebration of the greatest miracle the Earth has ever experienced, that originated from the most humble birth of a tiny baby in a stable. If nothing else, just remember that great miracles come from small things. 

All Scripture quotations are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress, represented by Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.