I have recently been comforted by the words of Psalm 37:23-24; “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” As we follow the Lord, we can trust that He will guide and lead us, and establish us on solid ground. This is especially comforting, because life very often doesn’t go the way you/I/we want. I think just about all of us have felt that to some extent over the last couple years. As I talk to many, there is a general sense of discouragement hanging in the air. For many, the last years haven’t gone the way we might have wanted. We have dealt with frustrations like the (continuous) curveball of Covid and persistent cultural tension, just to name two. I think it’s safe to say that many or most of us have wrestled with some kind of disappointment in how life has progressed. I know I’ve experienced this very recently. It has been admittedly a challenge to build personal and ministerial momentum following the taxing years of Covid. After some very welcome vacation days off, I was excited and ready to make progress. Then came the sadness of losing an infant in the womb that naturally has knocked my wife and I off our feet (or stumble, as the verse says). And I look ahead to a week that will be taken up mostly with a national convention. Purely from a pragmatic perspective, I feel like I’ve suddenly lost the entire month of July, and am left with little time or energy to accomplish what I had hoped. This month certainly didn’t go how I wanted. (I guess this is also an apology for not being as pastorally present as I would have liked to have been.) But I am reminded that the Lord establishes the steps of those who trust in Him. We may be disappointed, discouraged, even depressed at the course of our lives (whether our fault or not). But we are called to trust in Him, and encouraged that this trust will be rewarded. The Lord is of course often doing something different than we’d want. And if we are in Him, He will not let us go. He may simply take us down a different, even unwanted, path. But He will not let us fall. He will uphold. He will make steps firm. By His grace I am hanging onto those words and that promise.