Yesterday I went to the park with my friend and her two boys. Gibson, who is not quite two and a half was excited to show me how he could go down the big boy slide. When we got to the park I pointed to the slide and said “This slide?”. Gibson nodded his head and said “This slide!” I was surprised, as the slide seemed pretty big and just a month ago I had to coax, beg, and plead for him to go down a slide half it’s size. He had obviously grown into his new role as big brother in the last month.
I watched him climb up the ladder, his mom following him to make sure he did not fall backwards. He was all smiles as he climbed up. Once he got to the top his mom walked to the bottom of the slide to catch him as he came down. “Wave hi to Auntie Jen”, his mom said. He turned to wave at me and suddenly his face changed. He went from excitement and smiles to apprehension. He looked down towards the ground on the left side of the slide, and then to the right. He suddenly realized he was up high, and he was all alone. He sat there still as can be taking it all in, not sure what to do.
His mom was at the bottom encouraging him to come down, assuring him she would catch him. He kept asking her to come closer until finally she was standing with her arm reached as high as she could so he could touch her hand. Once Gibson was assured he was not on his own he went down the slide.
As Gibson sat at the top of the slide looking to the left and to the right, I got an image of what Peter must have done when he got out of the boat to walk on the water towards Jesus. He took his first step out of the boat with confidence and excitement. Then the sound of the waves caused him to look around and he realized that at that very moment he was on his on his own. Even though he could see Jesus, he wasn’t sure he could do it and panicked. As he started to sink and cried out to Jesus, Jesus grabbed him by the hand and pulled him safely onto the boat.
At a recent writer’s conference Susie Larsen said something to the effect of “When God first puts a dream in your heart you want to run after it with everything you’ve got. You keep telling God you are ready for it, but He assures you that you are not. Then suddenly one day God tells you it’s time. You are ready, at which point you panic and assure God you are not.”
I think about that statement a lot. For years I tried to tell God that I was ready for whatever He had planned for me. I was ready to live life big. Lately however, I see myself panicking a little at the thought of my dreams actually coming true. It was all fun daydreams before. What if it suddenly gets real? What would I do? Would I sit at the top of my big girl slide turning my head from the left to the right looking down? Would I suddenly realize that if I were to fall flat on my face it would hurt- bad? Would I trust that God was there to catch me at the bottom?
It says in Psalm 139:5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Just as Lia walked up the slide behind Gibson, and then immediately went to the front to catch him at the bottom, God also climbs with us in the high places, and will catch us in the low places. He even holds your hand on the way down. That verse came to life for me yesterday as I watched the interaction between mother and son. She was all around him, assuring him of his safety and being ready to help him in any way.
What about you? What will you do when you get to the top of your big girl slide? What will you do when God assures you that you have what it takes to make it on your own? Will you trust that He is there, cheering you on and ready to catch you? I know one thing- it’s a lot easier to slide down the big girl slide than it is to try to climb back down the ladder…
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me. Thank you for going before me and following me. Thank you that you are with me every step of my journey. Help me to be aware of your presence at all times. Give me the faith to climb and to enjoy every good thing you place before me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Love, Grace, and a Big Girl Slide For Us All,