3 Ways to Turn Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones

"The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way in which we use them."

Stepping Stones in a tropical garden with text overlay "3 Ways to Turn Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones"

I feel like God always speaks to me through the normal, mundane things that happen in life. I had taken a picture of my daughter jumping from stepping stone to stepping stone in a beautiful tropical garden not far from our home here in La Ceiba, Honduras. While editing the picture 'the stumbling block into stepping stone thing' came to my mind. I wrote a small caption "Turning Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones" with the picture and posted it on Instagram a few weeks ago. However, I couldn't get it out of my head.  I knew the Lord had more to say than what I wrote on that post. 

First, let's find out what the differences are between the two.

Stumbling block: circumstances that cause difficulty or hesitation. Synonyms: obstacle, barrier hurdle.

Stepping stones- an action or event that helps one to make progress towards a specified goal.

How can you change those stumbling blocks into stepping stones?

Little boy walking uphill on some giant rocks in a jungle.

1. Perspective- You gotta change it 

When you see that barrier, you view it as something that can't be overcome.  Remember, that there is always a way out, there is always a solution. Goliath will always fall.  My husband has a very positive outlook on the world, whereas I am more of a realist.  Unfortunately, a realist can sometimes lean towards the pessimistic side of things as opposed to the optimistic side.  When we have encountered certain situations the first words out of my mouth might be, "Nope....there is no solution." My husband, on the other hand, would say "Yeah, we can do this." 
It is all about your perspective. When you change your perspective, you also change your attitude. You need to enjoy the journey.

Philippians 2:14 "Do all things without grumbling or complaining."

2. Stamina- for the long run 

In track and field, you train longer and harder than the actual race that you are going to run.  More hurdles and higher hurdles so that when you run the race the lower and fewer hurdles will seem easier.  Sometimes you get so tired that you don't lift your leg up in time and it slams right into one of those hurdles and it hurts.  But you get up and you keep training and you keep jumping. When the time comes for the big race, you are ready. You can go longer because you have trained harder.  It's the same in life. Those hurdles help us, they prepare us to keep going even when it hurts.

James 1:2-4 "My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!  For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things.  And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking."

3. Experience- To help others out

The good experiences don't help us grow, nor do they help others grow. But those hard, difficult times is when we see growth. We might have faltered or slipped but we didn't give up. Those are the moments when God says, " I want you to use that situation and I want you to share it with someone else." All that we encounter, every difficult season, every bump in the road can be used to bring glory to God and to help someone else out. There are two things I can compare this to.  One would be childbirth. Tremendous pain but so worth it when a baby is born. The other would be when you are trying to increase muscle strength. You have to work to a point where the muscle actually tears so that it can grow. We always categorize pain as bad but it's not it creates growth and experience.

Isaiah 66:9 "In the same way I will not cause pain
    without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord."

Little boy walking on large rocks next to a river.

If you cross a river using stepping stones, most of the time, it isn't the surest of ways to cross but you do it because you have no other choice. Usually, they are slippery. Sometimes they are spaced far apart. They aren't easy to cross but we know that if we use them we can cross the river without getting wet. They could easily turn into a stumbling block if you don't have the correct perspective. You may not get across if you don't keep trying (stamina), and once you get across you can look back and see how far you have come and give advice to others coming behind you.

Don't decide "not" to cross the river because you see the stepping stones as obstacles instead of something that is going to help you change. Don't allow the fear of failing to keep you from going across.

Are there stepping stones that you have had in your life that you allowed to become a stumbling block? How could you have turned them into a stepping stone?


  1. Wow. So powerful. I can very often give into the fear of the slippery stones, the blocks/obstacles, instead of trusting that He has worked it all out- all I need to do is trust and keep pushing forward as He guides and instructs. I love what you said, “They prepare us to keep going, even when it hurts”. I know His promises are true and trustworthy.
    God is speaking through you here.

    1. Thank you so much Jennifer. I appreciate your kind words.

  2. I love this post!! Perspective is truly everything!