One small step for man…

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took that infamous first step on the moon. The moon. He was the first to enter into the unknown place, to step onto another piece of creation; that which governs our night sky (read Genesis 1 for all the brilliant details). Think about that for a minute or two. God’s detail provided throughout scripture was all for our benefit. So when we ask the questions like – how did all this come to be? Coincidence or plan? If an atom cannot be created or destroyed, then where did the first atom come from? Boom. Genesis. “And God said, ‘Let there be light’. And there was light.” (That verse stirs my spirit but I’ll get to that another time) I believe we have been created and I say that with a confidence that I’ve never known before. I love science & do not believe God and science are mutually exclusive because, simply put, God is the Author of order, not of chaos.

When I was young, I was so intrigued by our solar system. I remember having this interactive board – you pushed a planet and it would give you facts about each one. I played with it so often that literally the buttons stopped working. The batteries didn’t just die, the buttons broke. Have you ever seen pictures of our galaxy; ones that have been captured by satellites or by astronauts themselves? They’re spectacular. The detail, the beauty, the wonderful order that God spoke into being. There’s mystery to it all because we weren’t present at its creation but yet, we get to marvel and explore its existence. As Neil stepped onto the moon, recordings captured his first words during the feat:

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong

One small step. That is all it took in that particular moment to make epic impact.

One small step.

I’ve been thinking about that concept recently. Prayerfully focusing on the things I can do today to move closer towards Jesus and the path that He’s purposed for me to follow. You see, I often find myself dreaming dreams for our life and even praying over the adults and children in our lives, saying things like – “God loves you beyond understanding, He’s got big plans for you.” “You’re going to do great things for the kingdom.” I declare that over them. I pray it for them, that it would come to pass in God’s perfect timing. And I do believe it. But what about the moments between now and those great things? What about the preparation? You see, my go-to prayer for them never tends to be – “May you have the willingness to do small, daily actions for God.” And currently, I’m questioning why that’s not my prayer for them. I’m asking myself, why that isn’t my prayer for me, my husband, my family and my friends.

That prayer sounds somewhat silly at first read but listen…if I am not willing to take small, daily steps of obedience towards and for God, what makes me think that He’s going to trust me to take on those big responsibilities like when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon. Neil didn’t wake up on July 20, 1969 and walk onto Kennedy Space Station for the first time ever without any background or training. No. He endured more preparation than I can probably even begin to assume.

If you have ever watched a professional sports game/match/tournament then you know that you’re watching them perform on the big stage. On that particular day, you’re not too concerned with the hours and grueling training they’ve endured to get where they are. You are only enjoying the fruits of that training and commitment. Have you ever been to a concert or show of some type? Those artists are not just walking off the street without any vocal or musical training and performing in front of hundreds or thousands of people off a whim. No. We get to watch and enjoy their gifts after they’ve endured a trying road of hard work and endurance and, I’m sure, a lot of rejection.

Why do I not apply the same principles to my own life? Okay, so no, I’m not training to be a professional athlete or musical artist but I am running my race, striving towards entering into eternity. And each day I’m one day closer to it. When I meet my Lord face to face, the words I hope to hear are these:

“Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)

Well done.

I want to steward my life and the lives of those people God is entrusting to me, well. I want everything I do to point to Jesus. He is my joy (Ps.28:7) and my prize (Ps. 16:5-8). I wrote previously about our desire for children, for having a family, and working on patience for His perfect timing. I write today and share that those desires have still not come to pass in our lives but I tell you what…my eyes are fixed on Jesus. And because He is what I want to want more and more, my heart has peace. My heart has joy. My womb may be empty but my soul is full. That peace has come as I trust Jesus more. The more I trust Him, the more peace I receive. I’m so grateful for the exchange.

So God is disciplining me to focus more on asking myself and prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit – “What is one thing I can do today to obey?”

Yes, there are times where I feel God speaking straight into my spirit for a specific area but I can tell you, with full assurance, that the answer is always this – through it all, just love.

Love God’s people. Love them with a love He has poured out and the type of love that you’ve experienced. People doubt that loves exists. So…just love.

Love.

It’s not just a word we speak. It’s not just sitting around, smiling but yet doing nothing. That’s not the love that God is instructing of us. After we receive His grace, God is telling us to then give His people action. Be a carrier of grace, be a giver of love.

Jesus.

He came, fulfilled all of scripture, and demonstrated that love. He gave His life up for our’s.

Action.

Talk to the person you’re in the elevator with. Say hello to the one who walks by you on the street. Yes, smile! Hold the door for someone. Ask if you can do something for someone. Ask someone what they need. Meet a real need of another person.

Action.

That’s what is going to stir the heart of the person you’re interacting with. Yes, they may not know how to respond but give them time…I’m confident their hearts with soften when they encounter someone who loves.

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong

I hope one day God will use me and use my husband for big things that glorify Jesus but for all the moments in between now and those great things, I want to obey Him and really…I think that honors God too. I want Him to entrust the little things to me. I want to take one small step towards Jesus so that I can be part of the grand story of God’s pursuit of His people.

One small step.

In trials, in wanting, and in praying, yet not receiving, I will lift up the Name that is above all other Names because I have already received more than I deserve. I have been given life, I have been given relationship with God, my Creator, my Redeemer. What a glorious gift for a sinner like me. I will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus as He changes my heart and makes me look more like Him.

One small step.

I’m going to rethink my prayers and declarations over myself, over my husband, over my family, over my friends, and over the beautiful children God has surrounded Troy & I with. May we obey God daily, may they be willing to do the small things that may not bring much recognition but that will glorify God through it all. May we know freedom. May you know Jesus more and more. May we all love in action.

Will you join me?

Will you choose to take one small step of obedience today?

I believe when you do, you’ll witness God’s presence in the routine of your life. I don’t think you’ll see those moments as mundane any longer. You won’t be telling stories of what God did for you a year ago, you’ll be on fire to share what God did today, with a heart overflowing with gratitude that you got to be a part of it.

So as you prayerfully consider what your step of obedience will be today, I want to leave you with the words and prayer of Paul in Romans 15. If you have your bible app, open it to chapter 15 and utilize the audio tool where it reads to you. Close your eyes and let verse 13 be spoken over you…

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

Take one small step today, my friend. You’ll be one step closer to Jesus and that’s one step you’ll never regret.

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