One of my favorite Christmas movies is “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”.
There is a scene where Kris Kringle is talking to the Winter Warlock about how to start on a new path in his life. The Warlock is concerned about how to begin or where this path may lead him in the future. Kris Kringle teaches him this song “put one foot in front of the other and soon you will be walking out the door”. He is encouraging him to simply take it one step at a time, because he knows when you only focus on the future and what may happen it can get a little overwhelming.
We are a culture that desires exact instructions, we crave every little detail, but friends we follow a God that rarely gives any details, in fact he often just asks us to simply follow him or to “go”. In a world that orients itself to the future, that is a very difficult step to take. However, if we spend all our time worrying about what may happen, or waiting to know all the details before we move forward then we may miss how God is working in the moment.
When the Magi were traveling through the desert, they did not know exactly where they were going, they didn’t get any details, all they got was a star in the sky. God did not ask them to do what made sense, he asked them to place their trust fully in him as their faithful guide.
As I read the Maji’s story I was reminded that this is not the first time that God asked people to trust in him as they journeyed through the a desert. The desert the Israelites traveled through in Exodus is known as the Yeshimon, which means uninhabitable. The only way they could have survived in that environment was by fully relying on God to provide for them every day.
Every day God provided them a pillar of cloud and fire (like a star) to guide them, just enough food, and the exact amount of water they needed for the day. God showed them each day that he would provide for them and when they finally arrived at the promised land they could look back at the past and see how God took care of them.
They survived in a place that was uninhabitable, and now they could face their future with confidence. They knew that the same God who took care of them day by day in the wilderness would be the same God who would take care of them day by day and step by step in the future.
God doesn’t always give a destination or exact details, and I think there is something beautiful about that. I think if we were given the exact destination of our call and everything we would go through from the very beginning, we might never actually take the first step to get there.
We often cut ourselves short or stay in our comfort zones, but that’s why God invites us to walk with him because as we take steps day by day, not only do we learn more about God, but we learn about ourselves, and we may come to realize that we are more capable than we ever imagined.
Is there something that you want to try, that God is calling you to do, but maybe you’re scared to take the first step because you don’t have all the details, it is a little different than what you had envisioned, or maybe you will fail at it. I encourage you to be like Maji!
Go, take a chance, and you might learn something on the journey. The beautiful thing about our God is that he walks alongside us every step of the way. That we are invited on a crazy, exciting adventure, where we can mess up, where we can succeed, where we can grow, and we can live a life full of joy and contentment, because God isn’t calling us to specific accomplishments or destinations, God is calling us to a life growing closer to him.
My challenge for us is to put one foot in front of the other and remember how Immanuel is meeting us in that moment this holiday season.
Written by Josh DePree
- What are some ways God meets you each day?
- How has God met you at a difficult time in your past?
- How does that give you confidence that God will meet you in the same way in the future?
- Where do you need to simply breathe, relax, and trust God with your future?