Our girls, Kaytlin and Khloe, love to go to the park and play. The playground is filled with many obstacles — a ladder, stepping blocks, and a slide. They are always wanting to push the limits, they want to try new things, in different ways. For instance, the “stepping blocks” (not sure what else to call them) but they are individual posts that have platforms, requiring one to step from one to the other (each at different heights) to reach the platform so they can go to the slide. They always want to cross them but often are nervous (mostly Kaytlin, Khloe’s an animal) to take the steps required to reach the platform. They are so excited to do it, but when it comes to that first step they often want to give up and ask me to lift them up to the platform. I extend my hand to them and tell them to “trust” me, basically “have faith in me to help you and together we can reach the goal”. This is difficult on their own, but when they take my hand the steps are much easier for them to handle. In doing so, they reach the platform and jump up and down shouting, “We did it Daddy, We did it!”, which in turn immediately brings a smile to my face!
It is a cute story, but lately I have seen that this is an exact example of the “faith” that is required of me to tackle this life with Christ. It is so easy to display this faith in situations/scenarios when things are comfortable (i.e. church, around other Christians). Oh how the tides turn when it comes to the difficult. This is such a timeless truth for mankind. Think back to the Israelites, the only way they were getting into the Promised Land was by crossing the Jordan River. God promised them a miracle (stopping the flow of the river so they could cross on dry ground), but that miracle wouldn’t be displayed until they took the first steps into the water.
This is so tough for me…to take the first step. I tend to want God to just “take care of it”, “fix it”, “show up” instead of putting my own faith into action. My wife pointed this out to me today, I tend to look at the “problems”/”hindrances” versus just having faith and letting God work it out. I thank her for that because she is right. I find myself saying, “God, I can’t do it…you don’t understand ____________…but what about ________________…we only have one vehicle, how could I make it to the interview…” He’s saying the same things to me that I tell my girls, “Michael, don’t you understand? I’m right here, I see the obstacles, now take my hand and together we can do it.”
I no longer want to allow my insecurities and doubts to inhibit the power and provision of Christ from being displayed, but rather to have “faith”, to reach for His hand, and to take the first step…to “Get out of the boat” if you will. I find myself thanking Jesus for His courage, for His “faith”, despite the obstacle(s) that He faced, He was willing to take His Father’s hand, allowing the miracle of salvation to be available to me. Remember nothing is too big, too difficult, too complex for God; “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” but first I have to grab His hand and have a faith that is willing to take the first step. So in the end we can shout, “We did it Daddy, we did it!” and cause God to smile down at us.