By Judith Gillis
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. Psalm 37:23
Swish…swish…swish. My broom moved slowly over the painted porch of the old mansion where I lived now. A few short months ago, after my husband died suddenly, I needed to find an affordable place to rent on my window’s pension. The Lord opened a door for me to rent an apartment in a historic mansion owned by my church in Old Salem Village. This spring morning, I decided to go outside and sweep the beautiful veranda as a little anonymous gift to my fellow tenants. Besides, activity would take my mind off my recent concerns. Several important decisions were looming, and making even simple choices was agonizing for me since becoming a widow.
As was an old habit, I began to softly sing a hymn as I worked. The words of Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah brought familiar comfort and peace to my soul. A moment or two later, a voice called down to me from the porch above. “Hello, neighbor. Who is singing down there?” I stepped out of the walkway and looked up to see one of the ladies from the third floor leaning over her porch railing. “It’s just me, sweeping up a little.” We chatted awhile and she happened to mention she was trying to make up her mind about some vacation plans. As she turned to go back inside, she waved her band breezily and said, “Oh well, I’m not worried, my steps are ordered.” With that, she disappeared through the screen door.
I went back to my sweeping, but her words kept running through my mind like a little bell chiming in my brain…my steps are ordered…my steps are ordered…my steps are ordered. Finally, it dawned on me. She was right! When I trust God, my steps are indeed ordered. Somehow, God always got the right information through to me, if I could only trust Him. As surely as springtime sunshine flooded that old painted porch, peace flooded my soul and my heart felt so light.
A few days later, my neighbor and I met at the elevator and I told her how her words had encouraged me. She countered by telling me what a blessing it had been to hear my singing that hymn. That evening, as I closed my day with prayers and a hymn, I struggled to remember the words to the beautiful He Leadeth Me. I remembered I had recently unpacked a hymnal among my boxes of books.
A moment later, I fingered the worn pages. It was then; I noticed a ragged bookmark in the back of the book. I hadn’t held this hymnal in my hands for months, and I wondered which hymn I had marked. I slid my finger into the page and read the title, Lead Kindly Light. I smiled as I looked at the scripture heading on the marked page. I couldn’t help but breathe a little prayer of thanks as I read, The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.