8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Have any of you ever tried to roller blade with a four year old? A four year old who can't skate, at all? Last Sunday night, I had the great privilege to be helping one of my favorite four year olds skate around the the local roller rink. She had previously been clinging to the wall of the rink, while her Mom patiently shadowed her every movement. I had skates on, and her Mom did not, so I offered to hold my little friend's hands, so she could actually be out on the floor. I was surprised and delighted when she accepted; with me standing behind her, and her small hands clutching a finger from both my hands, we were off. She enjoyed it so much, and was very concentrated on moving her feet back and forth in as close a skating motion as she could. How kids even move in those clunky, plastic skates is beyond me! With the security of me holding her, she was free to practice her skating, even to try and keep up with all the much faster skaters! She trusted that she was perfectly safe from falling, safe from any fear that had kept her glued to the wall. I didn't have this conversation with her, but it was obvious by her relaxed form and big smile every time we passed by her Mom, who was watching happily by the entrance to the rink. It was great fun!
After a few turns around, my back was starting to let me know I was leaning over to skate with a cute munchkin. To save my back, and because she was doing so well, I thought that she might want to try skating side by side, with me holding just one of her hands. The answer to my suggestion was an emphatic shake of the head and the statement,
So that is how we stayed, for the rest of the time, and it was worth the back ache, totally.
But it got me thinking afterwards: how like that sweet four year old I am. I am perfectly fine, happy and excited even, to go through life's adventures, as long as I can cling to my heavenly Father's strong hands. To know I am secure and safe from ever falling, from ever failing. But as soon as I don't feel Him, don't sense His touch, as soon as something big and scary comes my way, I find myself shaking my head, calling out, "Both hands, both hands!"
The thing is, God is always holding me, never tiring from a back ache. When I fall into fear I need to press into Him more, cling to His strong arms, and believe that no matter what, He is holding onto me, and never letting go. I cannot do it on my own; I would still be clinging to the wall or falling flat on my face in my pride. But His grace is enough for me.
Oh, and my little friend's name,