Sometimes the youngest ones teach us the biggest lessons, if we're willing to listen and keep our hearts open to the Spirit of God. The Father speaks to me in all kinds of ways and last week, he used my 3 ½ year old grandson to teach me a big life lesson about being brave.
We took a little beach vacation in Florida in Panama City Beach on the beautiful Emerald Coast. It was a family vacation with our daughter and son-in-law and our two grand children for a little R&R before the crazy kicked back in for the rest of the summer.
Eli, my grandson, adores the water but he's scared of it too. He thinks he's a big boy till he's confronted with the reality of letting go of what's safe and launching out on his own. He wears this little floatie vest and it gives him confidence but still he clings to whoever has him at the moment. He's completely safe with zero possibility of sinking and we told him over and over but he didn't believe it.
As we walked down the beach and approached the waves he clung close to me saying with quivering lips, "Mimi! Don't let me go Mimi!"
"You're alright buddy, Mimi's got you!" I'd reassure him.
Little by little, as the morning wore on, he'd let go of my neck and let the waves carry him just a little. Finally I got him to hold my hands but he held on tight and cried out in fear if I tried to encourage him to let go reminding him all along, "Mimi's right here. You're okay buddy. I won't let you go under." But he wasn't buying it!
As the day went on, we left the beach and went to the pool. Watching the other kids jump in made him want to do it too but he was afraid and he'd only attempt it if daddy was right there to catch him. At first, daddy had to hold his little hands as he jumped.
"Catch me daddy! Catch me!"
"I'll catch you son."
Bit by bit, by degrees, Eli grew braver and braver. On our last day he jumped in all by himself without anyone catching him. After much coaxing, he mustered every bit of his courage and took a leap of faith. We all clapped and high-fived his bravery and oh, he gave the hugest smile when he realized he'd conquered his fear and done it all by himself! After that there was no stopping him. He must've practiced jumping in by himself for an hour!
Aren't we just like Eli sometimes? Our Father asks us to jump, assuring us He'll catch us and still we balk. We fear. We negotiate. We doubt. We lay out our conditions. But all along Daddy's right there, arms outstretched, ready to catch us the minute we trust enough to jump. I call it The God Dare.
We take a little jump just to test Him. Will He really catch us?
We achieve bravery by degrees. Courage by inches. It takes us years to reach the point of total trust.
The lesson He taught me this summer?
When we get out in the deep of God's purpose for our lives, we can float on the knowledge that He's with us and He will never, ever forsake us.
And when we learn this truth? I'm convinced the Father claps and high-fives and smiles big.
Is God calling you to fling it all out and trust Him? I'd be honored to pray for you!