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A Faith Lesson From A Road Trip With a Potty-Training 3 Year Old...

His defiant stance told me everything, but he used his words anyway, "NO! I wear my big-boy pants! I no needah pool-ahp!"

A Faith Lesson From A Road Trip With a Potty-Training 3 Year Old...

We were embarking upon a two-day drive home after visiting my parents for the holidays. Honestly, I just wanted to make things as easy on all of us as possible. Our son, who had turned three a couple of months before, had been doing a stellar job of potty training and was super proud of his brand new big boy pants - as well he should be!

However, cleaning up an industrial-sized car seat after a sleeping potty-trainer has had an accident in it...I just couldn't face it. So in my best mommy-wisdom voice I explained why he needed to wear the pull-on diaper, yadda, yadda, yadda.

In the end, he conceded, and still did an amazing job staying dry the entire way except the last half hour of the trip.

Somewhere along the way I heard a voice whisper in my heart,

"You could have let him wear his undies."

I'm still not sure if the voice was my own mommy-second-guessing-voice - you hear that, too? Oh, good - or if it came from the Divine. However, a Biblical picture sprang to mind that was just too good to pass up sharing.

You see, I didn't want to trust putting my potty-training three year old into underwear for a road trip because things could have gotten real messy, real fast. And I didn't want to deal with the clean up. Or the risk.

As I stared out the car window watching snow-covered mountains and plains fly by, in my mind's eye I was watching an entirely different scene altogether.

I saw Peter, standing in a boat sloshing on the waves of a rough sea, staring Jesus in the face. Then he asked for a confirmation of who Jesus is as he called out, "Master, if it's really you, call to me to come to you on the water." (Matt. 14:28)

I saw Jesus (I imagine a little smirk gracing his lips) as he replies, "Come!"

So, boldly, Peter stepped out of the boat and step, step, step - walked on the water towards Jesus. Woah.

I think most of us know what happened next: Peter got distracted by the wind and waves, took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink.

I wonder if the water was cold?

I wonder how close Peter actually was to Jesus before he sank?

I wonder if in that moment Peter regretted his bold decision to get out of the boat?

Peter does what we all should do when we find ourselves sinking in the chaos around us - he called out to Jesus.

And Jesus saved him. He reached down and pulled him out of the water and they both got back in the boat. I've heard some speculate that Jesus grabbed him by the hair of his head. Ouch! No matter how He did it, He saved Peter and Peter was allowed to continue on with his work with and for the Lord.

As I watched this scene unfold in my imagination, I wondered how many amazing opportunities to experience who Jesus is I have missed just because of the risk that things might get messy?

How many times have I refused to put on my proverbial big-girl pants and get in the car, opting instead for the safety of the familiar; the tried; the proven?

What is burning deep in your heart, sister? What does God seem to be calling you to step out of the boat and Come to, but you're hesitant because if things go wrong it could be really, really messy?

Volunteering at the crisis pregnancy center you pass everyday?

Apologizing to that family member?

Dropping by that one friend's house to offer to pray with her?

Whatever it is, friend, if you have asked the Lord to confirm His Voice and He has replied with a firm, confident, "Come!", I want to encourage you to step out of that boat!

There is no guarantee you won't need Him to pull you up and return to home based wet and cold and re-evaluating. Even if that happens, you still get to experience His presence! Remember how Peter and Jesus returned to the boat together? The amazing thing about falling down while doing something He has called you to, is that He walks with you - holding onto you - the entire way...perhaps holding you even closer after the fall than before!

What if everything goes to plan? You get to experience who He is in the journey to the other side of the water. Jesus was with Peter then, too. He is always with us, but there's something special and extremely powerful about allowing Him to do the impossible through you.

Let's not miss any more miracle encounters with Christ out of fear of the mess.

Let's leave the safety-net of predictability at home and get in the car. After all, we have a long trip ahead of us!


Jen Deibel

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