Learning to Walk
“Boom, boom,” I call out as her diapered bottom hits the hardwood floor for the tenth time in the last few minutes.
“You are okay, big girl” I say encouragingly when she looks for my reaction to determine how she should react. “Upsie daisy. Let’s try again,” I say cheerfully, lifting her back to her feet from under her armpits, and stabilizing her on her little round feet.
She is eleven months old and I am helping her learn to walk on her chubby baby legs. She is trying so hard. I can’t imagine being so top heavy and trying to gain your balance. Her head is half the size of her whole being. Yet, we all learn to walk like this.
God gave me this vision as I reached out to Him this week. He wanted to remind me that this is what He thinks of me this week as I yet again hit the floor. I pictured His face full of fatherly grace saying,
“I can’t imagine being so broken and trying to keep my balance through the hardships of the broken world.”
I imagined Him poised with arms full of love, picking me back up again and whispering encouraging words. Something like,
“Good job baby girl. You made it one step further than last time. You are really getting the hang of this. Let’s try again. I will be right here”
I am like a baby to this new world after all. I am still trying to learn to balance the new kingdom that I am not all that used to yet, while still running smack dab into the hard things, my inevitable reality.
And I fell a dozen times this week. I chose not to take a lunch break all five days, despite my knowing that not taking my eyes off work all day to remember God makes me feel alone. I chose to work about ninety hours this week, stressing in the evening too, despite my knowing I was created for rhythms of grace that include rest and trust. In other words, I faced the trials this week alone again, despite my knowing my limited strength. And the end of my strength became abundantly clear when I opened that medical bill and my heart started pounding and my chest closed. It was not the medical bill alone causing the anxiety. It was the compiling of all the things and the lack of resting in God’s strength.
But God is faithful even when I am not. He picked me back up off the ground when I toppled under the weight of all of this. He met me in the forest when I went on a walk and talked with Him, like He always does. He has never not met me when I lay down my silly pride and remember my need for Him. This is where my power comes from. It is not my own but rather God’s power in me to stand up against the daily tribulations and the big hardships. His grace covers both.
This week, I choose to let Him help me back to my feet and try again. I can because His strength empowers me to do so. Plus, I know that when I fall again, which I most certainly will, He will be right there to put me back on my feet again.
Father – help us to remember that trials will come as we walk in this broken world, but we are not walking alone. It is your strength that we can draw from to get us back up on our feet. Help us to remember that you are not angry or disappointed with us as we struggle to learn to walk, but rather so pleased as we admit our need for you and grow stronger in your strength. Thank you for your grace that sees us through the eyes of love and gives us unmerited power to persevere. You are so faithful. In Jesus name, Amen.