First Steps


Marion Turnbull

I have a picture on my wall. It is a print of the painting by the famous artist, Vincent van Gogh.

In a backyard garden, a little child is about to take his first steps. Mother, in plain blue dress, is holding him on his feet but she is tentatively letting him go. A few feet away, his father, in gardener’s workday clothes, is kneeling at the child’s level and waiting for him with wide open arms. The arms stretch out, inviting him to step forward, willing him to come. 

The ground between looks a bit rough, but the child’s eyes are on the father’s encouraging face, not the ground. Nor is the child looking back for support.

I love that painting because I see myself sometimes holding back in my walk with God, afraid to step out, fearful of doing something new because I might make a mistake. But when I look to my Lord, I am encouraged. I remember the promises and know I will never be asked to do something which I cannot do. The path may not be easy, and I may stumble a bit, but God is there to hold me. Better to make a mistake than refuse to go forward. Keeping my eyes on God, I can take the first step.

God often calls us to step out of our comfort zone and trust. If I keep holding back, I can never move on. 

The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps He has made firm;

though he stumble he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.  (Psalm 37:23-24 NIV)



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