Lord, Help Me to Follow in Your Steps


What a day. Someone criticized me for trying to help a lady in need. His words stung like daggers in an open wound, ripping through my soul, grinding into dust what tiny bit of self-confidence I might have possessed. I was angry, I was hurt, and as the day progressed, I slipped deeper and deeper into depression. I knew that relief would only come by turning my feelings over to God. I even tried to do so once or twice during the day, but some vicious part of me refused to let go. After all, I had a right to feel angry and hurt. What he did to me was wrong! My motives were nothing but the purest! I didn’t deserve to be treated this way! And on through the day I went, wallowing ever deeper in the mire of anger and hurt, knowing I should forgive and forget, but somehow not wanting to.

It was evening before I finally realized I needed help. In the quietness of the house, after the family had gone to bed, I got out my journal and began to write: “Dearest Lord Jesus, I’m in a terrible state. I am allowing the evils of self-pity, hurt, depression, and rejection to play havoc with me. I know what I must do, but some cruel part of me won’t let go. I know You can and will help me, but somehow I am turning my back on Your help. Satan knows exactly how to push my buttons, and he’s pushed them! All of them! And I’m letting him do it. Lord, I don’t want to do this anymore! I want You in charge! Lord, You must sit in the driver’s seat! You must be my guiding force, for without You, I am a helpless creature.”

As I was writing, the sweet voice of my Lord and Savior—the same one that had been trying to reach me all day—called out: “My child, look away from yourself. Look up!”

I did, and there was Jesus, carrying His cross to Calvary. I watched, transfixed in horror as he humbly lay down upon that cross. I saw them drive those brutal nails in his outstretched hands. And over the sound of the hammer, I could hear a woman crying out: “What they’re doing is wrong.” My gaze shifted to the speaker, a woman. Was it Mary? I couldn’t tell. “His motives were nothing but the purest!” she called as they forced the heavy cross into the ground. The guards were gambling for his clothing when the voice cried, “He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way!” Then Jesus, with agonizing effort, turned and looked directly at me: “I’m doing this for you,” he said. “Go and sin no more!”

Then the scene was gone, and instead of the tormented whisper of my Lord and Savior, I could hear the evil voices that had been a part of me all day, “Jesus has no idea just how badly you have been hurt. He’s the one who deserves to be punished, not you. You didn’t do anything wrong!”

And, as if in response, the quiet voice of my Lord spoke in the back of my mind, “But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because [I] suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in [my] steps.” (1 Peter 2:20-21).

Tears formed in my eyes as I whispered the words aloud: “But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God . . . Because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

Slowly, ever so slowly, the loud voices that had been taunting me all day, faded into nothingness. The weight that I had been carrying slipped away, and in its place reigned peace and joy. For the first time all day, I smiled!

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW IN YOUR STEPS!

By Lyn Chaffart

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