When I was a little girl, my mother gave me her prized “reader” to help me learn, just as it had helped her years earlier. I loved one particular story, never dreaming how much it would affect me years later.

It was about a little boy with a small shovel. He was trying to clear a pathway through deep, new-fallen snow in front of his house. A man paused to observe the child’s enormous task. “Little boy,” he inquired, “how can someone as small as you expect to finish a task as big as this?”

The boy looked up and replied confidently, “Little by little, that’s how!” And he continued shoveling.

God awakened the seed of that story at a time when I was recovering from a breakdown. I remember how my “adult” self taunted the weak “child” within me: “How can someone as inadequate as you expect to surmount so great a mountain as this?” That little boy’s reply became my reply: “Little by little, that’s how!” And I did overcome—by depending on God. But it was one small victory after another.

The obstacles facing Israel as they considered claiming the land God had promised them must have seemed insurmountable. But He didn’t ask them to do it all at once.

“Little by little” is an effective strategy for victory.