Nothing can quite compare to the joy that comes when witnessing the perseverance of your children. Maybe it’s because I reluctantly recognize the inherent difficulty in staying the course, chartering through unknown territories that often bring crashing waves of fear and all-consuming doubt. The ever-present threat of drowning in failure prevents that first step out into the water, or really, stepping anywhere at all.
I watched this past weekend as each of my children, both fatigued and not always successful, attempt a venture never tried before. Brimming with excitement, they eagerly jumped into the water to strap pieces of wood to the bottoms of their feet that would allow them the exhilaration of walking on water.
With self-control that had to come from Jesus Himself, I managed to keep from projecting my own anxious thoughts and worries into the minds of my little ones. What if they fall? What if they get hurt? What if they are not quite ready? ...What if....What if....What if.
I don’t want my own fears to stunt their opportunity for growth. Chances to try the new even when pain is a possibility. Or withhold encouragement that pushes them forward, knowing intuitively that the lesson will be learned through failure. I want to guide them, shield them, and protect them from all harm. But here’s the harsh reality that gives me a gut check every time: they don’t really belong to me.
What I have come to understand is that we’re never really prepared for that next challenge. The timing is not always quite right and schedules are usually unaccommodating for the new endeavor. At least that’s the justification held onto for temporary assurance. But it’s those very times - times when I feel most unprepared and inept, most unqualified and ill-equipped - that God will push me beyond the boundaries I created for disillusioned safety. He wants there to be no doubt that the unbelievable occurred because of Him, and not me.
But childlike faith, that wonder that exudes from the pores of my children’s sweet smelling skin, that intrinsic quality God gifted to them but as an adult I unintentionally tried to return, somehow overcomes my insecurities, my inadequacies, to bring them to the place they were meant to be all along.
Walking on water.