The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

When We’re Stuck and We Can’t See Our Next Step…

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Today, I’m over at Encouragement for Today telling a tale about stacking stones and finding treasure and remembering God’s faithfulness in those moments when we’re short on faith. But before you go, I’d love to tell you one more story about a splattering of stones and a path that always leads us home.


Green was giving way to gold on the day we decided to hike the lakeside trail. And if beauty were a song, we were trekking through peals of  praise, the branches of those old oaks swaying to the rhythmic crunch of the leaves beneath our feet.

The sky was swinging from blue to gray, the sun playing peekaboo with the canopy of color above our heads. And the water just beyond the trees winked with winsome ripples as I ambled slow and allowed myself be captivated by the loveliness.


I paused and inhaled the fragrance of fall. ‘Cause a Michigan gal knows that all too soon Autumn’s glory will be swallowed by winter’s grit.

Of course, the kids had no time for pause. They bounded ahead of me, feet fixed firmly in the now. There were branches to climb and acorns to collect; walking sticks in need of walkers and stones in need of tossers. They shimmied up tree trunks and balanced on bald branches, ducked under bending boughs and leaped over muddy puddles.

“Mommy, look at me!”

“Mommy, get a picture of this!”

Their joy floated carefree like the leaves drizzling off the treetops and waltzing in the wind.

But then the winding trail led us to the banks of a murky creek. And we craned our necks to see the trail on the other side that would lead us back to the place where we’d begun.

crossingthebranchMy daughter was the first to worry.  “How will we ever make it home?” she moaned with a touch of Disney drama.

But my son seemed to know the apparent impasse wasn’t an impossibility. Carefully, he crawled down the muddy bank to get a closer look and he studied the splattering of sunken stones scattered wily-nily across the water.

“Don’t worry, Maggie,” he said with a shrug of his slender shoulders. “We just need to step on those rocks until we reach the other side.”

Joshua forged the way, his bony legs stretching awkwardly from one wet rock to another. He waved his hands like an old fashioned windmill on a gusty day, slipping and wobbling, see-sawing and side-stepping. And finally he took a mighty leap and landed on his knees in the soft damp sand beyond the water.

Maggie clenched her fists and followed with a tentative stride. She wobbled from one stone to the next until suddenly all the rocks seemed to disappear beneath the mud. She studied the path her brother had taken, but her little legs couldn’t stretch far enough to reach her next step.

She was stuck.

Her brow furrowed and her lips trembled. “I don’t know what to do,” Maggie wailed.

maggierocks“Just wait right there…”Joshua urged his sister as he dropped to his knees and began to dig in the sandy earth beneath his feet.

Maggie wiggled nervously on top of the slippery stone. “I’m gonna fall,” she bellowed. “I’m gonna fall!”

“Put your feet right in the middle of that rock and STAND STILL!” her brother commanded with nine-year-old authority.

And, surprisingly, my littlest girl grew quiet and slowed her sway. Then she planted her feet firmly on that grungy gray rock and stood on that stone without a waggle or a whimper…

I thought about that moment in the middle of the murky creek as I opened my prayer journal today and stared at the blank page in my hands.

Long ago, I’d told God I would go where He leads.

But I hadn’t realized that sometimes obedience can land a woman in the middle of murky waters.

I hadn’t realized that if God is going to stretch me, my next step may routinely feel out of reach.

There are seasons when we run free with God and seasons when we trudge through the mud one slippery step at a time.

And God is present in both.

I flipped back through the pages of my journal, read and re-read my own scribbles.

I saw answered prayers and unanswered prayers, praises and questions.

But on every page I saw a splattering of stones— God’s Word inked in my own messy scrawl. Verses to which I’d clung when I could’t find my way. Promises I’d claimed as mine. Cries for help. Pleas for break-throughs. Reminders for my own doubting heart.

It was there, scattered through my prayers, spilled out with my tears, timeless truths meeting me time and time again in my hour of need.

 To you, Lord, I call; you are my Rock (Psalm 48:1).

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:2). 

Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me (Psalm 31:3).

And suddenly I could see it clearly–

When we don’t know what to do, we must simply stand on what is true.

When we don’t know where to go, we must stand on what we know.

God is great.

God is good.

God is here.

When our world is rocked, we must cling to the Rock.

When we find ourselves stuck and uncertain, worried and wondering, we need only to plant our feet firmly on the Lord’s promises and refuse to move.

Be still and know that I am God (Isaiah 46:10)

Hold on and wait.

Our confidence may be quaking; our hope may be shaking, but God’s Word never fails. God’s truth always prevails.

When we are following our Savior’s lead, every impasse is merely an invitation to stand on His promises and wait in faith.


The kids will soon be waking up, so I grab a pen and write just one thing on that blank page in my lap–

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of thosewho wait for him (Isaiah 64:4).

It’s the stone I’m standing on right now.

And as I speak God’s word out loud, pray it with confidence and expectation, I feel strength rising.

‘Cause there’s this crazy thing that happens when we take hold of God’s promises; it’s then that God’s promises begin to hold us, too.

I can feel it, the firm Rock of faith, right beneath my feet…

As Maggie stood on that slippery stone in the middle of that murky creek, her brother excavated a log from the dirt and lugged it to the edge of the water. With a knowing grin, he stretched it across the quiet ripples like a makeshift bridge. And in three nimble steps, he offered his sister a muddy hand.

Maggie shimmied across the log with a brave smile and wrapped a dirt-streaked arm around her brother’s back.

“I’m glad I stood on that rock,” she said in a whispered hush, “‘Cause now, together, we can find our way home.”


Today, I’m thimages-1rilled to be giving away Liz Curtis Higgs’ new book, “31 Verses to Write on Your Heart.”

Part Bible Study, part encouraging friend, this beautiful book is the perfect tool for any woman who longs to stand upon the rock of God’s word.

If you’ve lost your footing, or you just long to keep walking in confidence, Liz’s wisdom and insight will grow your faith and fuel your faithfulness.

If you’d like to enter to win a free copy for yourself, just leave a comment telling us what Bible verse is your favorite right now and why.

Or, if you don’t have time to chat, no worries–just write, “I’m standing on the Rock” and you’ll be entered for the give-away, too.






30 thoughts on “When We’re Stuck and We Can’t See Our Next Step…

  1. Tera Comia

    I’m standing on the Rock!

    November 9, 2016 at 10:42 am
    1. Psalm 19:14
      May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your site, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

      November 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm
    2. Beverly

      John 19:11a
      Jesus answered (Pilate),”You would have no power (authority) over me if it were not given to you from above.”…

      November 9, 2016 at 1:25 pm
  2. Brigitte Hidalgo

    Psalm 139:13-16 New International Version (NIV)

    For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

    I love this because it reminds me that He loved me before I was even born. He planned me. He wove me together and ordained my days…that is proof of a loving God!

    November 9, 2016 at 10:50 am
  3. Courtney

    I have quite a few favorite Bible verses, but I just recently added a new one to my list, that very well may be my current favorite, bc of how greatly I can apply it to my life at the time being. I discovered it yesterday, while reading Wendy Pope’s devotion for P31’s EFT.
    *Lamentations 3:25, “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (ESV)

    November 9, 2016 at 11:40 am
  4. Leah Carlisle

    Deuteronomy 3:18 has been on my heart so much over the last week. “It is the Lord who goes before you…do not fear or be dismayed.” I’m trusting God to watch over our country and believing he is firmly in control. I need to be still and watch as He unfolds himself in my life daily. I’m standing on the Rock!

    November 9, 2016 at 11:47 am
  5. Susan Aycock

    Favorite verse right now is Rom 12.2 do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so you will know the will of God what is good acceptable and perfect. We don’t always know the details of Gods plan but I trust God to show us step by step his work and where we fit in.

    November 9, 2016 at 1:01 pm
  6. Kathryn

    “I’m standing on the Rock”

    November 9, 2016 at 1:14 pm
  7. Leah

    I’m standing on the rock.

    November 9, 2016 at 1:30 pm
  8. Elizabeth

    I’m standing on THE ROCK!!! One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:5-6: ,”Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge Him,
    and He will make straight your paths.”

    November 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm
  9. Jess Melson

    Jer 31:3. We are loved with an everlasting love!

    November 9, 2016 at 2:35 pm
  10. Michelle Preston

    I’m standing on the rock!

    November 9, 2016 at 2:39 pm
  11. Im standing on the Rock,but vvv hurt n slippy

    November 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm
  12. Donna

    I am trying to stand on the Rock but having a really hard time. So much going on in life, health changes, loss of home and jobs. So many decisions to make, forms to complete. I’m ready to give up.

    November 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm
    1. Ann

      My son (who faced many trials In his life ) would always say, “God is a god of the last minute”. So hang in there with God and look to see His heart with you and His hand to help you.

      November 13, 2016 at 9:07 am
  13. Aitsa

    “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;
    shallow ye not know it?
    I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”❤️
    Isaiah 43:18-19

    November 9, 2016 at 3:46 pm
  14. Elsie

    Psalm 59:16 NLT ” But as for me, I will sing about Your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about Your unfailing love. For You have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” Our power and strength come from the Lord. Each morning He helps us to be joyful by putting Jesus first, others, then ourselves. We can love because God first loved us. He is our rock, our safety net when we are overwhelmed with challenges that each day can bring along with all the joys.

    November 9, 2016 at 4:55 pm
  15. Kristy

    Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. >Lamentations 3:22-23. I like this because it helps fill my heart with God’s love and remind me He is all I need.

    November 9, 2016 at 6:01 pm
  16. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance in what we do not see. ” Hebrews 11:1
    I’m standing on the Rock!

    November 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm
  17. Jessica

    I’m standing on thr rock. I’m going through a very difficult time right now. This verse carries me through. I’d love this book!
    psalm 143:8
    Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life

    November 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm
  18. Julie

    I am standing on the Rock!!

    November 10, 2016 at 3:45 am
  19. Denise Stull

    Currently Mark 5:34
    34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (‭Mark‬ ‭5‬:‭34‬ NIV)

    November 10, 2016 at 4:10 am
  20. Sharron

    Psalm 143:8 – ESV
    Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
    for in you I trust.
    Make me know the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.

    November 10, 2016 at 5:11 am
  21. Stephanie H

    I’ve been just like your daughter in your story! But here a verse I read this morning:
    “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah”
    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭68:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    November 10, 2016 at 9:14 am
  22. Michelle

    Thank you for this post and thank you for your writing. Your writing always seems to speak to me, to my heart right where I’m at. You are a blessing. Thank you.

    November 10, 2016 at 12:57 pm
  23. Ashlee

    Thank you for your encouraging words. My favorite verse right now is:
    “‘Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

    Reading your blog also made me think of this verse:
    “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.” Psalm 27:5

    November 10, 2016 at 11:09 pm
  24. Amy Dowty

    I’m standing on the rock

    November 10, 2016 at 11:38 pm
  25. Patty Faulkner

    The LORD is my rock.:) I feel Him all around me . Bless Your Holy name oh Lord. Fill me completely with your Holy Spirit this morning. That I may love as you have
    loved me. Thank You, Papa

    November 20, 2016 at 7:29 am
  26. Mechelle Duke

    I loved what you had to say. One of my favorite verses that helps me a lot is Psalm 18:1-3.
    You might want to double check your references next time though. I did notice that two of the passages you quoted had incorrect references. Psalm 48:1 and Isaiah 46:10. I’m not sure about where the first one was from, but Isaiah 46:10 should have been Psalm 46:10. Don’t mean to knit pick but after reading some of your stuff, I believe you’d want to get it right when it comes to Scripture. God bless!

    November 23, 2016 at 11:07 am
  27. Cassandra

    Thank you for the word,I needed this

    December 21, 2016 at 3:43 pm

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