I originally published this post in November 2009, when my daughter was just beginning to walk. I watched her, and God spoke to me.
One of the hardest things about Jennifer’s new mobility is the constant fear that she’s going to hurt herself. I know she’s going to bump her head and hit her face and pinch her fingers sometimes, but it’s the more serious injuries that I worry about: falling on the stone fireplace, faceplanting on the ceramic-tiled kitchen floor, catching the corner of a trunk with her forehead. I hate the thought of her hitting her head and giving herself a big shiner that will remind me of the moment for days to come.
Often, the bumps and bruises that occur are because of a poor choice Jennifer has made (though of course, she doesn’t have any way of knowing better at this point). She will grab onto something for balance, only to realize that the object – be it her rolling high chair, a pillow, or Mommy’s leg as she’s cooking supper – isn’t as stable as it once appeared. As the object gives way, Jennifer’s already precarious balance does, too, and down she goes. To avoid this, I try to steer her away from things that won’t hold her up and toward things that are more sturdy and able to support her. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
As I watch her, I realize that I’m not so different. How many times have I, in an effort to hold myself up and stand on my own, grabbed on to something that isn’t meant to support me? How many times have I fallen after relying on something inadequate to support me through life?
Have you? Have you ever trusted a relationship, a job, a hobby, or an interest to be all that you need in life? Have you ever relied on something to hold you up, only to realize it is as shifting as sand? Have you ever faceplanted because you leaned all of your weight – all of your life– on something that wasn’t meant to hold you up?
I think we all have. What we don’t realize is that the things in life that we trust to fulfill us were never intended to do so. There is something – someONE– who longs to be the one we lean on for balance and trust to fulfill us. If we are going to let Him, we must let go of the slipping and failing foundations of our lives and firmly affix ourselves to the Solid Rock.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25)
(Note: Those of you who know my family may be confused by my reference to Jennifer. As my girl gets a little older, I’m giving her a pseudonym anytime I reference her in my online space. When I asked her what name she would want if she could have any name in the world, she said Jennifer. So Jennifer she shall be! Here, anyway….)