Footsteps Worth Following

by Cherie Denna

My common prayer is, “Lord, please just show me the way.”

Normally, the risk-taker in me would just go for it, taking the unpaved road that leads me straight out to a bluff, hanging over the edge of the ocean with camera in hand. (Not so much right now while navigating through a pandemic. There are other lives to consider.)

Over the past several months, a team of us took a leap of faith in planning a fall women’s retreat, which had been canceled last year due to county lockdowns. Yet here we were again; everything was a go until health guidelines tightened.

So many questions flooded my mind. Is it too risky? Should we make financial adjustments? Do we cancel the event for the second year in a row? I found myself standing at this directional sign with no clear arrow pointing the way.

Ruth found herself in a similar place. After losing her husband, where was she to go? The Bible shows her devotion to her mother-in-law, Naomi: “But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God’” (Ruth 1:16 AMP).

I admire Ruth’s courage and unwavering allegiance to not only Naomi, but to God. It was as if she was so drawn to God that she knew she must remain close to Naomi. I imagine she heard a word behind her pointing her in the right direction, step by step.

There was great reward for Ruth as she sought refuge in God and followed Naomi. For God had gone ahead of them with plans of merciful providence (Ruth 1:1-7).

As our team discussed the direction of the retreat, I realized it was God’s direction that mattered most: leading this ministry is a calling; the women who have already registered need this retreat; God has already provided along the way; He wants us together in this season of isolation.

“Abide in Christ” was the chosen theme for our silent retreat. Abide is my one word for this year. He’s calling us to come and abide. A word of encouragement came from a friend, “God will work it out.” Minutes later, a song by the same name played on the radio.

Our plans for the retreat nearly crumbled as we considered the risks. It took faith to put the brakes on and recount how God had already directed our steps (Proverbs 16:9). We moved forward with God’s plan, knowing His provision and protection were with us.

We can expect Jesus to steer us the right way. He is faithful to guide us. At times, the signs are clear. Other times require us to pay extra attention to the steps He has already purposed. We must listen for His voice. Like Ruth, if our desire is to move where the Lord is moving, we will experience His divine providence.

Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21 AMP

This article brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Cherie Denna is an award-winning author, speaker, and blogger who writes with grit and grace. It is Cherie’s desire for all to believe, belong, and be loved through revelation of God’s redeeming love. She has served in various forms of women’s ministry leadership for over a dozen years.

Her story, Biker Blood: An Outcast’s Quest for Justice and Belonging (Redemption Press, 2022), is a testimony to the rebranding of the soul that leads to true belonging. Publications include the 2021 Selah Award-winning collaboration, She Writes for Him: Stories of Living Hope, and other contributions and online devotionals.

You can find Cherie off writing somewhere on the seashore with camera in hand. Visit https://www.cheriedenna.com to sign up for her monthly Footsteps Worth Following devotional newsletter or to have her speak at your next event. Connect with Cherie on social media @cheriedenna.

Join the conversation: When was the last time you felt directly led by the Lord?

9 thoughts on “Footsteps Worth Following

    1. It truly is, my friend. How do you sift out the noise that attempts to distract or create confusion?
      Days before I was introduced to Jesus at a women’s retreat, a coworker gifted me his ‘well-read’ copy of My Utmost for His Highest, my very first devotional! God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for joining me here, Terri! Yes, doesn’t He leave you in awe? Sometimes, I groan when it becomes painful or uncomfortable. I have realized it is along the way to the next leg when his ways are most unexplainable…and most glorious!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Teresa, I am so glad you were able to make it to the SWFH retreat! I would love to hear more about how the Lord showed up for you. I pray you are recovering well, sweet friend.

      Like

  1. I’m so excited to read this about abiding. It has been at the core of another step in my growing closer to God for several years. It’s a spiritual part of our lives that can never be addressed enough. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen, Kathy! It is so easy to get distracted from our intimate relationship with Jesus. I’m blessed to know what I shared spoke to your heart. It sounds like we’ve been walking the same steps as Holy Spirit gave me ‘abide’ as my word for 2021. Last year, it was ‘watch and see’. God’s pursuit of us as He calls us to increase our focus on Him tells me there is a reason. As the darkness of the world intensifies, our devotion must strengthen. It’s like our beloved Father to hold us closer, protecting us from harm, whispering, “I’ve got you, my child.”

    Like

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