Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2
Once I had children, this verse became a powerful incentive for me.
I read it one peaceful morning as my babies were sleeping. My husband’s work boots sat across the room beside the door. As I read this verse, the boots caught my eye, and I flashed back to the night before with our 18-month-old climbing into Daddy’s boots and trying to walk. It was a sweet picture. He was stumbly and slow and didn’t get very far, but he wanted to be like Daddy.
That’s what the Christian journey is. It’s just a matter of stepping out as Jesus would and getting up again when we fail to walk like Jesus.
When we are first saved and do this, our steps are faltering and slow. We stumble a lot and mess up often. But we love Him and we want to be like Him, and so we get back up and try to take a few more teetering steps. We lurch forward and face plant again, but once again get up and haltingly keep trying to walk like Jesus. The shoes may feel too big at first. We get tripped up by the strange feeling of this new walk. We feel like all we can do is stumble. And it hurts when we fall. But we are not called to be perfect; we are called to be an imitator of Christ!
What we find is that we don’t stay a 2-year-old Christian any more than my children stayed 2-year-olds. We grow up in Christ. The walk becomes more natural.
We become an 8-year-old that can scuffle through the house in Jesus’ boots without falling so much.
We grow to be a 14-year-old in Christ whose feet fit perfectly in our Father’s shoes, and we only fall when we face obstacles beyond our abilities.
We mature to be the eager 24-year-old who barges into the mission field with energy and confidence in our Father’s shoes, but occasionally lets our ego lead us into failure.
And one day we hope to become the 76-year-old that may have faltering physical knees but has the spiritual foundation that makes imitating Christ in their every step not even seem like imitating Christ; they have walked in His shoes so long, that the shoes seem like their very own!
Whose shoes are you walking in?