Our family took a spur of the moment trip to the carnival last night. We strolled through the various attractions pausing at the rock climbing wall. My younger son stood studying the towering wall. Then he turned to me, and asked if he could do it. There are those moments as a mom when you know that something more is happening here. That the question is deeper than simple permission. I looked at my husband and said, “He can do this. I know he can.”
My husband offered the cash to the attendant, and we watched our little guy get strapped in to his gear. I told him to go back and forth across the wall as needed, holding tight with his hands even if his feet slipped, and to trust the cable to hold him. I told him he needed to do it fast.
There was a brief moment when my faith wavered – what if I’m wrong? What if he can’t get anywhere on the wall?
And then I watched my son scramble up the wall quick and sure. He scaled it like a pro impressing the onlookers. Before we knew it, he was close to the top, buoyed by words of encouragement from below.
Close to the top, his hold slipped a little, and he looked down. Fear flashed across his face, and he tried to recover. But the fear won out, and he shook his head. My heart hurt to see the fear, and I wondered if he could overcome enough to climb back down. Then he surprised me. The height had scared him, but he put his faith in the cable, and he let go. He let go of that wall, trusted the support system, and slowly dropped to the ground.
I wish I had fully captured the look of accomplishment on his face, but I was too wrapped up in his huge smile. You can see a hint of it in the photos. Several people clapped and hollered sweet words of congratulations.
When he looked back through my photos, he was stunned at how close to the top he had been. We shared with him how he needed to not look down, but to keep his eyes on where he’s going. He decided next year, he would reach the top.
As I thought back over the event, I realized that faith is so much like that. We have challenges to face – some mountainous. We take it one step, one handhold at a time, keeping our focus on the destination. But if we take our eyes off of Jesus, the enormity of our situation can swamp us; as Peter discovered in Matthew 14:28-33.
When that fear comes, when it threatens to immobilize us, it is then we must take a step of faith. We must trust that Jesus will be there. He will catch us, and carry us through. He is ever faithful to those who love Him. With His leading, we will set out toward our destination again, and conquer the obstacles in our lives. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (ESV)
This mama’s heart is full. Thank you, Lord, for lessons we learn from our children.