Posts Tagged ‘faithfulness’

St. Simons Island Lighthouse in Georgia.

“We’re almost there,” my son’s voice floated down to me as I was climbing what must have been my 115th step on the curving staircase, but that step felt more like my 1 millionth.

At the bottom of the lighthouse steps, at St. Simons Island Lighthouse, a sign said there were 129-steps that we needed to climb before we got to the top and were able to see the ocean where the light still shines at night to warn ships that they are getting too close to the shore.

But, as I climbed the steps the fact that the light helped ships was the last thing on my mind. When we first started I counted the steps, but at about 10 I decided that was a bad idea considering that we were climbing in the close, heavily humid Southern air and knowing the step I was on might not help me in the long run.

So, I took one well maintained black metal step at a time, listening to the wheeziness of my asthmatic lungs along with the flip flap of my son’s flip flop shod feet as he walked the steps somewhere above me.

At every landing, he would stop and wait for me, and, we’d look out a small window at the ever smaller trees, houses and cars below and the lengthening ocean in front of us.

When you’re in a small space like that and all you can see is the step you’re on along with the couple of steps you will be on, it’s hard to imagine that there is an end to them. So, when my son’s unprompted words dropped down to me, I thought he might just be encouraging me to just keep going and the top was somewhere way far above us.

Staircase inside the lighthouse at St. Simons Lighthouse in Georgia.

But, I was wrong, he wasn’t just trying to encourage me to keep going (as if I had a choice with the type of person I am, I’ve climbed to the top of more seemingly unclimbable staircases in my travels than I’d like to admit) as I rounded the corner, I saw the door at the top that led to the outside.

It was just a rectangle with a little slice of blue sky peeking through, but it was a wonderful sight to see. My son was already out on the little walkway that ran around the lighthouse. As I stepped out next to him and we felt the breeze and saw the beautiful view, I thought the walk up was definitely worth it even if I couldn’t see anything but black steps on the way.

I was reminded of something a woman I greatly admire told me. She said that sometimes the LORD just points a little flashlight at our feet and where the light is, is where we should step.

As I stood there at the top of the lighthouse, I thought of her words and the fact that on the way up all I really saw was the step or two in front of me, but continuing on those steps one at a time I was taken to a beautiful place, but to get there I had to keep on taking those steps. And, his is how the LORD is with us when we start walking with Him, He provides the steps for us to walk on. And, in due time, one step at a time, sometimes after many steps and much exhaustion, He delivers us into the beauty of His full presence.

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

1 Corinthians 9:25

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It’s funny because when you get to a certain age your arms just don’t stretch out far enough for you to read what’s in front of you.  A perplexing problem to be sure, but I am somewhat reassured by the fact that many of my friends are having the same trouble.

I’ve had this trouble for the last couple of months and it’s irritating to the nth degree, in part because I have an extremely small print Bible, and in part because I have worn glasses, or contact lenses, my entire life. Because of this change, I now find myself having to take out my contacts  to read, or actually buy glasses to read when I have my contacts in. Of course, I will fight the buying glasses to take care of the problem for as long as I can.

Being in this dilemma reminds me of my Nann who was legally blind for most of her life. Photographs from the early 1900’s when she was small, show her dressed in typical Victorian garb, her brown hair flowing in beautiful waves  framing her face where glasses so thick they looked to be about a 1/4 of an inch thick  made her wonderfully colored big, blue-grey eyes look small.

Her sight never improved. In fact, it got worse as she grew older until the time that she was not only legally blind, but she was blind in actuality as well.

I was the youngest child of the youngest child and my Nann and I got along famously, talking for hours in the morning and evening whenever she would come from England to America to visit us. Something was born out of all that time together, a deep and abiding love and trust in one another.

When I was very young, maybe about 5-years old, I would take her hand when we all went out as a family. I would automatically tell her where the steps were, how high the rise was, how much traffic was on the street, if there was a crack in the sidewalk. In short, I had spent enough time with her to know when she needed to be told where to put her feet in order to get her where she needed to go.

You would think that since we lived on two different continents this dependence would have lessened with time and age, but it didn’t as I was so firmly reminded of during one of the last times I visited her on an annual trip to England. The nearby city of Plymouth had become too much for her as her sight worsened. She had stopped going into the city even when friends and other family members would ask her too, preferring to stay home and wait for them to come back and tell her about their day.

But, that changed one day when we were planning to go into Plymouth and everyone assumed she wouldn’t go. That was until my mom asked her if she was sure that she didn’t want to go after all, to which she replied, “Yes, I think I’ll go because Sarah’s here. ”

I still remember taking her hand, then arm that last time we visited Plymouth together. The way we slowly traversed the cobblestone streets falling way behind the others, with me telling her where the cracks and dips were, and her laughing as she gingerly tapped her feet out in front of her just to make sure.

She has been gone for far too long now, but that day always reminds me of how God is with us. He takes our hand, then our arm, tells us where to go step by step and is eternally patient with us as we tap our feet out in front of us because, quite frankly, we can’t really see a thing.  But, that doesn’t take away from the moment, that moment that we know we trust Him because we know who He is and even though we are blind, we know that He can see and is faithful to lead us to safety.

Because, at the end of the day, we’ll only go because we know He is right there with us.

“Indeed God is my salvation, I will trust in Him and not be afraid….”

Isaiah 12:2a

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