Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: July 7th

First Steps

One week ago today 74 year old John Meeks had surgery to repair a broken hip. Last Saturday he walked from his bed to the door. That may be only about twelve feet or so but it was a monumental accomplishment for John. His new hip has a new ball joint and several accessories that regular hips don't have. Those additions usually signify pain in the joint when it is first being used.

John's steps were not big steps. In his former life he would have covered those twelve feet in just a few strides. Friday it took ten steps with a walker, each one bathed in pain and stress. His wife, Mary, daughter and son-in-law, Cindi and Daved Burchfield, and I were active participants. We were the ones standing in the doorway urging him on as cheerleaders. I wept as I sat in my car after leaving John's room in the hospital. It was exciting to see him working so hard to do what most of us take for granted.

Seeing John that morning reminded me so much of those who have just become Christians. Something that used to be original equipment has been replaced and they have to learn to walk all over again. The new Christian has a new life. For all intents and purposes they are babies again. Those first steps may serve to be a little painful. They will be unsure steps, careful steps as the new Christian is leaning hard on God just as John leaned on his walker. But they are the steps that begin things anew. They are the steps that say, "I can do this with God's help."

Sadly, many new Christians don't have the cheering squad that John did. Many have come to Christ on their own and are trying their best to make it with a local congregation. Most have been led to Christ by a friend or loved one. They still have the task of becoming a part of a local church somewhere for fellowship and training. That can be frightening. Making new friends, trusting a whole new group of people; it can be difficult, painful, stressful.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 Seeing John Meeks take his dramatic short walk reminded me of that verse of scripture. I have a refreshed perspective on the new Christian and the difficulty they face in taking those first few steps in their new life. New Christians need patience and encouragment. They need those of us who are strong in the Lord to be excited when they do the little things we take for granted.

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