As soon as my kids learned to crawl, they wanted to climb things. It didn’t matter what it was. If a playground wasn’t available, a table, a chair, or the top of the dresser would do just fine. I think that’s pretty much universal when it comes to children the world over, regardless of whether they’re boys or girls. Mine happen to be girls, so the only difference is fragility, but even so, you should see my older daughter’s palms from all the swinging on the monkey bars. She has callouses on top of callouses as though I’d had her pulling doubles for months. I almost feel like I have to preemptively tell people that my daughter is not a child laborer. Yes, it’s that bad.
It got even worse when they started putting together words and making sentences. Now they weren’t just climbing things; once they got to the tippy top of whatever they were climbing, with big smiles and a twinkle in their eye, all they’d say was, “Daddy, catch me!” Then they’d jump.
I’d always catch them, and they’d always laugh, but one thing was undeniable. Once they leaped, they were committed. They couldn’t trust me halfway; there were no half-measures involved. Because I’d never let them fall, they jumped with a smile on their face. Similar experiences in the past solidified their trust and made it easier for them to commit to it each time.
They knew my arms would be there to catch them. They didn’t have to guess at it; they didn’t have to wonder; they didn’t have to play the what-if game or check to see that I was ready. They knew I would be. I am a daddy! It’s my job to catch them when they jump, to be prepared, to anticipate, to know what they’re about to do even before they do it.
Some folks today want to experience the exhilaration of flying through the air, the joy of being caught in strong, loving arms, and the security of having their feet firmly planted on the ground. It’s just not possible. In order to experience the two, you must sacrifice the one. You can’t trust God halfway and expect to experience the fullness of what He can do.
If you want to fly, your feet must leave the ground. That was almost worthy of a Marshall goods sign on weathered Beachwood. It is, nevertheless, a fact.
My kids never asked to understand the mechanics of how I would catch them before they jumped into my arms. They never had to rationalize wind trajectory, gravitational arks, drag, or aerodynamics…They just jumped!
If you have children, you know you had to reassure them the first couple of times. They’d hesitate, and with a smile on your face, you’d wave them towards you with both arms, but after the first couple of times, it was all engines go, no hesitation or vacillation.
The Bible is God’s way of reassuring us. His promises are His way of reassuring us. “Trust Me,” He says in His word. “Just trust me.”
Then you do. You leave all doubt, uncertainty, fear, hesitation, and procrastination, and you leap, and it’s glorious and freeing, and for the first time in your existence, you understand what it is to be truly alive.
You look back and tell yourself you can’t believe you really did that and wonder to yourself how it is you’ve waited for so long to do it. But then, the doubt begins to creep in ever so subtly. He caught me that first time, but there’s no guarantee He’ll do it a second time. What if I jump at an odd angle? What if, the moment I jump, He gets some dust in His eye and has to blink it away?
Children are not known for overanalyzing a situation. They look to see that dad’s there, and they jump.
We don’t have to look; we know God is there. We don’t need reassurances; He’s already proven Himself time and again. He is the Lord; He changes not! That is more than sufficient for me.
My girls are getting older, and they’re jumping less and less. They still do it sometimes, but it’s not as often as it used to be. I think that’s how we are with God sometimes. While in the throes of first love, we’ll jump no matter how far or wide. As we grow, we start to jump less, but we shouldn’t.
God likes it when we trust Him, just as I like it when my daughters trust me. The knowledge that He will catch us and the exhilaration of falling into His arms should be two things we ought never to grow out of.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.