• Stefan Youngblood

Step by Step


The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of or opinions of Edenton Street United Methodist Church.


“Stefan, you really have to read some of Emily’s blogs.”


I’ve heard that line several times over the past week. Emily Fountain is the mother of Janie, a local high school student now in critical condition after she, her friend Tessa, also still hospitalized, and two other teens were involved in a very serious car accident. 


I was so captivated and inspired by Emily’s powerful words of trust during this crisis, that I want to share an excerpt with you. But first one thing: When I did a quick search to find her blog, it took me to old blog posts…from a long time ago. Back in February she wrote these words, “We know not what to do but our eyes are on Thee.” (2 Chron. 20:12) See, her courage and unwavering trust didn’t just show up one day. She’s been building a fortress of faith on God’s word long before this crisis. It’s just that now she’s able to draw on the deposits of trust in God’s promises she’s been making all these years. Incredibly, her faith, even in this challenging storm is now strengthening masses of people who may not be facing her struggle, but tough personal life situations nonetheless. 


May her words of faith inspire you to keep walking, keep trusting, and keep hoping…today: (From Emily Fountain’s blog, “Soli Deo Gloria“:)


But this morning, that fear that loves to creep around the edges of my mind, haunting my hope, well, it was there too. I get up from bed, talking to my Father, asking Him to help me to trust Him and not my feelings.


    I walk into the kitchen, turn on the lights, and pick up my blinking cell phone, and there comes my relentless God again: I immediately see a text from a dear friend: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen Emily and help Emily; I will uphold Emily with my righteous right hand.” (Is.41:10)  Thank You, Father.  Thank You that You will give us this day’s daily bread of strength and joy and hope and peace. 


And that is all we need–just this day’s provision.  We will trust our never failing Savior for tomorrow’s.  But we don’t need that now–just today’s.  Just today’s.  And You are always enough, always able.  Forever the “I Am”–our eternally present, personal,  powerful Lord who is always with us today, this moment.  Help us to fully live in each present moment with You, our great I Am. 


     Thank You Father for how far You have brought us on this long, hard journey. I know we have miles and miles to go, but I can’t focus on all those miles.  We focus on the next inches right in front of us and ask for God’s strength and hope and enabling for those few tiny parts of the marathon.  “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” (Ps.119:105)  That is what our Father wants us to do–look to Him daily for His light to the path right in front of us.  He will light the way that our feet need to walk… step by step, inch by inch.


     Every time my brain tries to look way down the path into the far distance and ask, “what then?” or “what if?” or “how on earth will we handle that?” the paralysis of fear and discouragement sets in like a thick blanket of fog in the mountains.  Not only does looking ahead in fear steal my joy and peace, but it robs me of the light He is giving me right now, for this precious and irreplaceable day today.  The only today we will ever have.  The only today He is giving us to love Him, to learn, to love our family and friends, to pray, to share His Light in this dark world.  Forgive Your faithless child, Father, and help us to live this day in the light of Your Word, trusting that You will light our paths–for You always do. 


There’s definitely no place like HOPE,

Stefan

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