I’ll never forget walking up the steps leading to one of the gates of Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Marble steps, thousands of years old. Jesus and His disciples used these same ones. We sat down on them, gazing around the Holy City, imagining ourselves with Jesus!
Our Holy Land tour Bible teacher talked about these steps and its city gate, now unavailable for entry. What was most interesting to me was that every step was of a different depth. One marble block was set very deep. The next one up rather shallow. Deep…then shallow. Making the climb most treacherous, especially if you weren’t paying attention. Could easily land on ‘all fours’, bruised and battered.
What we were told next was fascinating. They were planned that way, so that no one could run up those steps, barging willy-nilly into the Temple. You had to watch your step. Keep an eye on where you were going. Think about what you were doing, and hopefully who you were there for.
Peter says something similar in his 2nd letter. He urges his readers to godly living. To confirm their calling and conversion by being careful to live for Jesus.
2 Peter 1: 5-9– standing at the base of a spiritual stairway, step up on faith. Then virtue… knowledge… self-control… steadfastness… godliness… familial affection. Ultimately, reaching love that’s love as God shows it.
Like going up those steps to the Temple. One at a time. Not too quickly. Watch your step. You could stumble. Takes concentration and single-mindedness–focusing on Him and His will for our lives.
Let me admit that I have bruises all over. I’ve stumbled and tripped in life, fallen flat on my face too many times. The only one?! Did I hear a faint ‘amen’? We’ve all fallen. We imagine that we had such good intentions. Jesus knows that we’re made of dust and clay.
However, we really do want to live godly lives. Don’t we? I do. As much as we fail, He’s right there to pick us up, put healing ointment on our wounds, listen to our cries, hear our apologies and excuses, and stand with us as we head back up those stairs, one at a time. With care and thought. Slowly but surely.
Unlike Jerusalem today, when we get to heaven, with Jesus by our side, the gates will open wide! No stumbling! No falling! Welcome home!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being with us, right beside us, on all the steps we take in this life and beyond. In Jesus’ name. Amen.