She's been wanting to have a sleepover at Nana's house, without little sister, for quite some time. Finally our schedule worked out to make it happen.
The plan was that I would pick her up when little sister went down for her nap to avoid tears and tantrums because big sister got to go and little sister didn't. The minute little sis was laid in her crib, she grabbed her backpack and swim vest and stood on the front porch waiting for me, donned in her swim suit and sun hat, her feet wearing pink water shoes. We had big plans for a fun summertime adventure.
One of the local rivers has a good little current, but is shallow enough in the summer to make a fairly safe place for children to float downstream for quite a ways. The good swimmers can just float with no assistance, but others use various blow up inner tubes and such to take the ride. With her swim vest I knew that, at five years old, our granddaughter would have a great time.
When we got to the river, she was a bit fearful and hesitant at first, in spite of the fact that I stood downstream in the middle of the river ready to "catch" her when she floated to me. Papa was upstream near her watching as well. But once she let herself go, relaxed, and floated to me and I caught her, she was ecstatic. "This is better than the splash park, better than the ocean, better than anything!", she squealed. Over and over and over she fought her way against the current to walk upstream, then floated back downstream to me.
Soon, she became confident that she didn't need me to catch her. In fact, I became the person who stood between her and her desire to float even farther down the river. So, I showed her an outcropping of rocks that she wasn't to go beyond, and also showed her that the river was shallow enough that she could stop herself just by standing up. Soon, she was confident to float on past me, yet I remained in the middle of the river, my eyes on her, my ears listening in case she called out.
It wasn't long before the outcropping of rocks wasn't far enough and she wanted to go farther still, wanted to just keep on floating and letting the river carry her away. Her experience had gone beyond trusting me to catch her, and now she was completely confident in her own ability to take care of herself. She began to not only float, but flip over from back to tummy and back again, down the river. It was when she got a bit too overconfident that she got a mouthful of water and came up sputtering. In spite of the slippery, rocky river bottom, I ran to her quickly to make sure she was ok. She assured me that she was, and continued in her fun, yet she was more cautious to not get too far from me.
I think God has some pretty great plans for us. Things we would actually enjoy, yet we hesitate to do as He says, not quite trusting Him that He won't let us fall. When we actually step out, do as He says and give it a try, we find that we can actually trust Him. We realize that His eyes are on us, His ears are always listening to us, and He's right there to help us when we need Him. In fact, we find that we can relax in His will, because His Spirit is actually the force that is carrying us along successfully.
Eventually, things are going along so well, that we begin to believe we can handle God's plan without God's assistance.
~ I don't need to wait and ask God what to write for this blog post,
I'm really getting good at this writing thing!
Look at those stats! Look at all those comments!
~ I don't need to lean so heavy on God in my ministry.
My Bible study is the most attended one at church!
~ Look how well behaved my kids are and how well they're doing in school!
I just can't seem to find the time to pray for my kids like I used to.
~Our marriage is doing great! We've finally gotten things together.
Maybe, we could just relax on some of the standards we have for our marriage.
~Another promotion! Wow! We're at the best place we've ever been in our finances!
If we just cut back on our giving, we'll be able to start building our dream house right away.
Oh, maybe we'd never actually be so bold as to put it in words, but we've all done it. Our actions have told God that He's cramping our style just a bit, and that we can now handle things without Him. We actually forgot that the whole thing was God's good plan for us in the first place. We did what He said, and really did find joy and fulfillment in following His purposes. We loved feeling the divine flow of His Spirit working in and through us. We even started to experience some success. And then we forget that it was all because of Him, all about Him, all for Him and our focus shifts from Him to self. We drop the restraints of humility and dependency and enter the dangerous waters of self-sufficiency. When we end up over our head choking on a big mouthful of water, we wonder where God is and why He let it happen. But it wasn't Him that let go, it was us. Sometimes He'll watchfully let us flail for a bit, until we remember to call out His name, to reach up our hand to grasp His. Then, mercifully, He rushes to our aid in spite of ourselves. He's an awfully wonderful Father like that. His eyes are always on us, His ears are always open to our cries, and He's always waiting for us to reach back up for His helping hand.
Also joining THOUGHT PROVOKING THURSDAYS
at 3-D Lessons for Life
Kelli at CHRONICLES OF GRACE