My granddaughter will be three in October. I'm in awe of this little one who continues to teach me about the simple blessings in life. Having a difficult time grasping life? Hang out with a little one for a day and they will bring your perspective to a whole new level of growth. I have always said that my children grew me. I need to add that my grandchildren continue to grow me.
When summer came upon us my granddaughter came up with the idea that her Pa was going to purchase a swing-set for her. I'm not sure where she got this idea, but sure enough, she asked and her Pa delivered. When she first seen her new swing-set she was one joyous girl, bouncing and giggling right out to the back yard.
When she first sat on the swing she was a little fearful. She didn't want to go too high. She was content just sitting. She climbed up the slide holding onto Nanny's hand and wouldn't go down unless her tiny fingers were wrapped tightly in the safety of mine.
There was so much she wanted to do. She would jump from one swing to the other. As long as Nanny and Pa were near she was okay. Her eyes were so big to all she could do, but fear held her back. Each time she came out to visit she looked upon her swing as if it were brand new. Excitement just travels with Peyton. In everything she does it's as though she is enjoying it for the very first time. Each time she came out she would sit on the swing of her choice and say, "Push me, Nanny." I would begin to push and she would immediately say, "I'm done." She would giddily move to something else. Who doesn't love the teeter totter? Peyton loves the idea of the teeter-totter, but again, she only wanted to go so high. Once she reached her limit she was done.
Over the weekend Peyton came to visit. She spied her swing-set from the kitchen window and said with giggles, "Nanny, it's my swing. My swing, Nanny. Let's go!" I figured we would only be outside for a little while before she was done, but something happened. She sat upon her swing and said, "Push me, Nanny", only this time, she wanted to go higher. Her fears had dissipated. I spent over two hours outside with this little one pushing her as she giggled with joy.
I began thinking how many times I have said to the Lord, "Push me, Lord. Push me. I want to go higher", only to want to stop as soon as my fears reached a height of I'm done. Our fears can keep us grounded into a season of contentment. Not the kind of contentment that leads to a life abundant, but the kind that keeps us from exploring all God has for us. Contentment can lead to..well..nothing. Why do we settle when God has so much more for us?
Just think if Peyton continued to go outside and just sit on her swing, never experiencing the joys that it holds. In her contentment she would miss out on all that awaited her. Just one push. That was enough. But next time on the swing she went a little higher. She needed to feel security. She needed to know that Nanny was near. She needed to know it was okay if she fell. Isn't that what we all need, to feel God near? To know He will catch us if we fall? To know that we can soar without fear is trusting God with the push.
I do the same thing in my walk. I ask the Lord to push me higher, only to remain still in fear. I'm afraid I will fail. I don't want to fall. I don't want to disappoint. It isn't that I have no faith or that I need more faith. I have ALL the faith I need. Just as Peyton, I need to grow into my faith. It happens little by little. As long as we are willing, God is willing to push us gently until we are ready to take that big leap off the swing.
Remember leaping off the swing once you learned to go high? I would watch other kids leap off and want to join in so badly, but my fears kept me in my seat. It wasn't too long that I too was jumping off the swing. Even today I love to swing.
Once we learn to trust there is nothing that can hold us back.
Faith and trust grows laughter and joy.
Don't leave the swing empty. Hop on in hope. Enjoy and see just how high you can go. Amazingly we are already equipped with everything we need for our journey. The only thing we need to do is leave the fear behind.
"...being confident in this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
"Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand." 2 Corinthians 10:15b
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14
"Be strong and brave, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, because the Lord God, my God, is with you." 1 Chronicles 28:20a