Bailing on God
- Thursday, December 08, 2011
Editor's Note: The following article is excerpted from Trusting God: A Girlfriends in God Devotional, by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, & Mary Southerland (Multnomah Books, 2011). This selection is written by Mary Southerland. Used with permission.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart” (Proverbs 3:5, The Message)
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I absolutely love being a grandmother and wholeheartedly agree with the familiar adage, “If I had known grandchildren were so wonderful, I would have had them first!” Our fifteen-month-old granddaughter, Lelia Kay, sparkles with joy and has an infectious laugh that instantly captures your heart and compels you to laugh along with her. Consequently, our son, Jered, is always looking for ways to make her laugh. On a recent visit, he proudly demonstrated one of the new “tricks” he had taught Lelia. I was horrified!
Jered came home from work, scooped up his squealing daughter in his arms and grabbed her in a big hug. Lelia wrapped her little arms around her daddy’s neck and then firmly planted a noisy kiss on his cheek. Tears filled my eyes when I heard Jered whisper, “I love you, Lelia.” It was definitely a Kodak moment that left me totally unprepared for the moment that followed.
Lelia giggled, grabbed her daddy’s shirt with both hands and looked up at Jered, a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. I instantly recognized that sparkle and mentally added it to the list of things she had inherited from her daddy. Jered looked over at me and said, “Watch, Mom!” He tightened his hold on his daughter’s chubby little legs, and said, “Bail, Lelia!” Surely, I had heard him wrong. Nope! My precious grandbaby immediately fell backwards through the air, arms and hands dangling loosely over her head, swinging her little body through her daddy’s firmly planted legs, laughing hysterically. My stomach fell and my mouth flew open as I watched her repeat this terrifying toddler version of bungee jumping. Not once did Lelia seem to be afraid. As far as I could tell, there was not the slightest hesitation on her part. I did not see an ounce of caution as she totally abandoned herself to the security of her father’s arms – creating a beautiful and profound illustration of childlike faith.
That picture of faith took on a whole new meaning as we replayed it over dinner. Jered said, “I have to be careful. Lelia will sometimes bail on me when I’m not expecting it.” (Yes, that statement did increase my prayer life.) I looked at my son and like so many times over the years, marveled at his strength, thinking of the countless hours he has spent lifting weights, playing football and now building and remodeling homes. Jered’s massive arms and shoulders are a testimony of discipline and power. No wonder Lelia feels safe and secure in those arms.
I decided then and there that I want to be like Lelia. I want my faith in God to grow to the place where I can bail on God and totally abandon myself to my Father’s safe, strong arms, secure in the knowledge that He will catch me when I fall. I want to obey God without fear, trusting Him to be all I need. I want to depend on and experience God’s power and strength as I plunge into His plan for my life, knowing that He is aware of every step I take, that He monitors every breath I breathe and sees every tear I cry.
It can be scary to trust God if we insist on fully understanding the step of faith He is asking us to take. Proverbs 3:5 assures us that we really can trust God from the bottom of our heart - with every part of our entire life. We tend to focus on what we can see and explain instead of choosing to focus on God and His promises. We need to grow and mature in Christ but we also need to remain childlike in our faith.
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