Today at Chick-fil-a in North Charleston (yeah, we cheated and went to a different Chick-fil-a), Katie was playing in the kids area. For some reason, she felt like she wasn’t big enough to climb up and down herself. She’d get half-way up and suddenly get terrified. She felt stuck. My friend Stephanie climbed up once to get her down, and then before we left, I had to climb into the contraption and get her down.
Katie could hang off one of the steps and her feet were just an inch or so above the step below. Her little brother could easily go up and down and he’s smaller than she is. Katie saw other kids her size or smaller easily going up and down, up and down, yet – she was afraid. When I climbed in to get her, I tried to explain to her that she could just drop into my arms and nothing would happen. Instead, she wanted me to physically hold her and set her down. I’m not sure what was up with her. I’ve seen her climb into bigger play areas. I’ve seen her do much more physically than she seemed able to do today. I was confused by her reaction today.
And honestly… it irritated the heck out of me. I was a little irritated that she seemed unable to do something so simple as climb the apparatus. But what really, really irritated me and got under my skin was that she didn’t trust me to catch her and get her down. She didn’t trust when I said, “Just swing your legs down and I’ll guide you down.” There was a large part of her that had to be in control. She had to see what was below. I could see the conflict on her face. She knows Mommy wouldn’t do anything that would put her in harms way, yet, she absolutely had to have things her way so that she felt safest. Basically, she has faith in me to protect her. I know that. She demonstrates that all the time. But at that moment, when she was in a predicament of uncertainty, she didn’t have enough faith to trust me. She had to hang on with a sense of control. And that is what irritated me… her lack of faith and trust. I was hurt, angry, irritated, whatnot. My own daughter – someone I would die to protect – didn’t 100% trust in my ability to help her in a time of need.
So, on the way home… it hit me. A ton of bricks (figuratively of course) fell onto me as I was driving the van home. Okay, yeah, I know. That was God talking, but it felt like a ton of bricks.
How many times do I in a time of need not 100% trust my Father in Heaven. Christ died for me – to save me from eternal damnation – and yet, there are plenty of times when I call on God and ask for His help, but… Yes, I add the “but” – it’s something all of us too very human Children of God do… we say we trust him, but then we don’t demonstrate it. We don’t like the way God tries to help us, so we try to stay in control. We try to tell God, “Okay, so you helped me out of this predicament, but I didn’t want you to help me that way, Lord.” So many times God will say, “You are just inches from the bottom – just drop down and I’ll catch you.” And instead of obeying and realizing that He will catch us, we balk and try to tell God how to do His job.
Deuteronomy 33:27 says, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Today, God used a somewhat frustrating moment for me at a fast food restaurant to help me learn that I am not too different than my own daughter. I need to trust Him just as I wished my daughter had trusted me.