Surefooted Faith

CC BY-NC, Mitch, Flickr
CC BY-NC, Mitch, Flickr

I grew up in the very last days of kids playing outdoors—remember that? My brother and I had terrific fun. We were rambunctious boys. We played throughout the neighborhood, up and down the street, in the front and back yards, and even on top of the house when we could get away with it. Every day we looked forward to getting out of school and playing.

We loved hanging out in a large maple tree in our backyard. We climbed that tree and out on its limbs with the ease of climbing into bed. It amazes me that we were so undaunted and never broke a bone. My grandmother’s home provided just as much fun. Her house sat right beside a shallow creek that ran beneath and perpendicular to her street through a large, dark tunnel.

Since the street was about 20 feet above the creek bed, the steep hillside and grassy adjacent lot added to our fun. Of course, that was never enough for us. We would also play on the incline directly above the tunnel, a fall from which would have landed us on the concrete streambed ten feet below. We were lucky that never happened.

The Trusting Heart of a Child

I’m sure you have similar stories. When I reflect on those times, I think about how risk-taking and trusting of ourselves we were, caution always thrown to the wind, never banking on a mishap, but always certain of the fun.

Our spiritual journey should be similar.

Jesus exhorts us to be like children at heart, although he usually refers to their humility and teachability. But a trusting and adventuresome childlike nature fittingly describes the way we should trust God, too—like a kid bounding through trees and swinging from the vines!

Say, did you unreservedly trust your parents as a child? Even if they sometimes forgot their promise or extenuating circumstances prevented it, you probably considered their word as good as done. Or maybe it was your big brother or sister’s promise that a bully would never harm you. The taunting suddenly became less fearsome.

Take God at His Word

In the army of the Lord, we march now with Christ’s victory spreading it wherever we go. But that present reality is something we will know and experience only by taking God at his word. Otherwise, we’ll live wishing to…play in the trees but too fearful of falling, killing our own joy. Yet his promises abide.

Take God at his word. Trusting him is an adventure.

I’ll end with a funny family story. Years ago we were together at our family home lounging and talking when someone heard the commode running. I asked my little niece to go and shake the toilet. We resumed chatting but then, after some minutes, wondered where she was. I found her down on her knees hugging the toilet bowl. She looked up so innocently and said, “It won’t shake.”

I get a kick out that every time! May we all like children possess trusting hearts and never second-guess God or the journey where he has us, for hesitation causes error. Instead, let us rest in the assurance that despite hard times along the way, this is far more an enjoyable adventure.

10 thoughts on “Surefooted Faith

  1. When I grew up we were told to get outside. It was great and your post reminded me of the times in the creek, the forts and the tree houses. Good times. Then I grew up and started out rough but Jesus left me an invitation. Now, great times. Be blessed my brother.

    • Gosh, that’s a beautiful comment!

      Your opening line is so funny! The simplicity of those days…I wonder if it made us more integrated persons. I don’t know; but surely we gained something by having less that gained us more inwardly. Thanks for reading!

  2. Hah. “Wild abandon” is how we need to live out our faith! No wonder Jesus said we need to have faith like little children. Oh to have those days again…great reminiscing and great points for reflection 🙂

  3. Mike, I love thinking about the old maple tree in the yard like you. I knew every nook and cranny and could tell you exactly how high I could get before a limb would bend. Thanks for the memory and equating it to the trust in the Lord I need to cultivate.

  4. Yup, we used to hate having to come in! (When the street lights came on). And all the moms on our block were our “mothers.” 🙂 We had woods, hills and storm sewers for our adventures. I love the analogy on faith. May we trust God with the same abandon as a child. Great post, Mike!

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