She knew how to turn around and get off the couch safely, but before long our little granddaughter found herself climbing up there all by herself, to sit in awe of her newly-found skills, beaming with pure joy! That was the night before her parents left her with her proud grandparents.
And that very next morning she took another big step on the back patio, lifting one leg up over the edge of her big plastic swimming pool, and plunging her little body head first into the pool. And then came another big step in her development. She figured out how to get out.
One leg over the rim, hand down to the ground, she literally flipped over the edge, landing on her little padded, diapered butt! She did it again and again. I watched with mixed glee and horror, but Grandpa said that’s how they learn.
Hey Mommy and Daddy — look what little Petra learned when Grandma and Grandpa were babysitting! Whoosh! Plunk! Splat!
But isn’t this how we grow — taking one step at a time until we can finally walk and run — and even hop? And is this not how we also grow in faith — sometimes with tentative little steps like a toddler on her first realization that there’s more to her world than crawling?
Those first steps are often faltering ones, and she falls, sometimes hard. But she takes in stride what might take out the best of us! After all, Mom and Dad are there cheering her on, even when she falls, encouraging her every step as she grows stronger with each trial.
And I like to think that God is like that.
Sometimes faith is about plunging in head first, unafraid, choosing to trust that God has called us to a task. But sometimes we plunge head first into a situation that’s a result of our own poor choices. And flipping out of the pool without any padding may just not be a good idea!
In either case the process can be painful, as God did not guarantee us a care-free life without its sorrows and hardships, even when we are doing His will. But through Jesus He tells us that He will never leave us alone.
So take the plunge, maybe not head first, but with a leap of faith. And you won’t be alone. Like grandparents and parents keeping a watchful eye, remember that we are all under the watchful eye of our Heavenly Father!