January 11, 2012

Stair Steppin’ It


At my gym, there are stair stepper machines. But they are not normal stair steppers. They are gargantuan.

When using one of these machines, you always seem to be fighting to reach the top—but you’re never able to. Despite your burning thighs and gluts, you seem to merely be floating in the middle, and sometimes, you can sink dangerously close to the bottom.

It’s like that with our relationship with God.

He’s way at the top. We want to reach Him, so we step and step and step in the right direction. But a lot of times, we feel like we’re going nowhere. That our progress really isn’t progress. That no matter what we do, we’ll never become really close with our Lord the way we want to.

And then we’re tempted to let ourselves slack, or we become so tired of stepping that we stop—maybe even for a moment or two—a move that brings us to a place we’d never want to be. Rock. Bottom.

To a certain extent, I think we’ll never reach the ultimate closeness with God we crave until Heaven, when our earthly distractions, crutches, and excuses are gone. But we CAN be close with Him. It’s why Jesus died.

Because incredibly, God wants a relationship with us. With you. With me. But it’s not enough for us to want that relationship in return. Just like with any relationship in life, we have to invest in our relationship with God, giving it time to grow and flourish. We have to remember that every step we take toward God is a step we take away from the temptations of this world.

And even though it feels like we’re floating in the middle somewhere, we’re not. Because whatever space that’s left between us and the top of that stair stepper toward God?

He’ll reach down and cover the distance.

He’s crossed the divide before. He’ll do it again, over and over, because He loves you that much.

Your Turn: Was there ever a time in your life when you felt far from God but wanted to be close? Have you ever felt as if you’re on a stair stepper regarding your faith? What, if anything, did you do about it and learn from it?

*Photo courtesy of Master isolated images: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1962

11 comments:

  1. This put a relatable image in my head. I love how you wrote He covers the distance (and how he did on the cross).

    Yes, I've lived like this in my relationship w/ him. Periodically I fall back into this pattern.

    ~ Wendy

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  2. This is a great and "tangible" analogy, Lindsay! The single most important change I made in my faith journey that brought me closer to God happened the day I started studying Scripture in the One Year Bible format. I'm on my 4th year of reading it cover-to-cover, and it continues to be life-changing, as well as fulfilling. The second very important step I took was word studies in the original Greek and Hebrew. God definitely reached down and began to cover the distance in recent years, but as with most relationships in life, it waxes and wanes.

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  3. Hi Lindsay, I found your comment on Edie Melson's site and popped over :)

    Love your thought about the Stairmaster, ever stepping but never advancing, and we've all been there. What snaps me out of it is to change up my routine and get quiet before Him, look back over the past x-period-of-time and trace His hand. And I ask Him to show me what's standing in the way of the intimacy I crave, and begin confessing that and laying it at His feet.

    A lot of time I find the culprit to be busyness, and because of the way He wired me, I have to constantly be on guard for distractions (and they are MANY). Prayer, Bible study, worship and serving in the body are critical for my focus.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Hugs from VA

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  4. Oh wow, what a great visual, Lindsay! Yes, I've been there...climbing those steps and getting so-so tired. And I have a feeling it'll happen again. Thanks for this word of encouragement!

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  5. Wendy, thanks for your honesty. I think we all tend to fall back into the pattern. I'm so thankful he covers that distance.

    Barb, that is so awesome that you've been so consistent in reading through the Bible every year. I always seem to fall off the wagon when I try doing that. I should try it again, though.

    Susan, welcome here! Thank you so much for visiting. That's a great tip about changing up our routine. And yes, yes, yes, busyness is such a problem for me. I want my primary focus to be on Him, but there can be so many distractions out there!

    Sarah, I was encouraged by your post today too! So glad God has given me friends who lift my spirit and help remind me of His goodness.

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  6. I love powerful word pictures, Lindsay -- and you crafted one today. It's the end of a very long day for me ... but I wanted to stop by your blog. I'm glad I did. I am encouraged.

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  7. Beth, I'm so glad you stopped by! I'm encouraged that you were encouraged. :)

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  8. Oh sure, lots of times I've wanted to be close. I've come to realize that my faith doesn't hinge on my feelings alone, though feelings make faith "feel" more real.

    Interesting analogy here. Thank goodness He doesn't need a stairstepper to reach us. :-)

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    1. Excellent point! If we are faithfully seeking him, we will draw closer. Our earthly perspective can often skew our point of view, I think.

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  9. Hi Lindsay! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog...I clicked on yours and I'm so glad I did. I know this is your post from yesterday, but I think I needed to read it today. I loved your line about remembering that every step we take toward God is a step away from the temptations of the world. Stuck out to me because I often get in this pattern of frustration with myself - at a bad attitude or bad thought pattern - and I put all this focus on shaking off that "bad" thing. But really, a better approach would be to have my complete focus on moving forward with Christ, drawing closer to him...because as I do that, I'll take natural steps away from the other stuff!

    Thanks for the uplifting post! :)

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  10. Thanks for stopping by, Melissa! I love when we read something that really resonates. Glad something here resonated with you. :)

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