It seems like just yesterday we were watching the mama robin build her nest in a rafter on our front porch. We marveled at the beautiful little blue eggs, being careful not to disturb “the babies.” Then they hatched – featherless and funny-looking, big heads and beaks protruding from the nest, begging to be fed whatever their mama brought back for them. Before I knew it, one was hopping on the walkway. Though it couldn’t fly, it was out of the nest. Amazing – it happened so quick! We mused among ourselves whether it had fallen out or if the mama bird had pushed it out. Whatever the case, that tiny nest was no place for that bird to make its permanent abode.
Over the course of a few days or a couple of weeks, all of the birds were out of the nest, and we could see them testing out their wings and swooping through the yard, sometimes in a wobbly pattern. But they were trying. Why? Because they were created to fly, not to sit in a nest they’d outgrown. Sure, it’s safe and comfortable to stay in the place where you’re nurtured, fed on schedule, and taken care of from morning until night. However, over time, you are required to take what you’ve learned and apply it. That process, my friend, is called growth. I recently had a real-life experience to underscore that lesson.
When picking up my daughter from daycare one afternoon, I called myself leaving the car door open so she could get in on her own – imagine, a child of mine with an independent streak? Tee hee hee! I tend to be a “helicopter parent” (hovering over my children – LOL!) and I’m trying to relinquish my tight hold on some of the more mundane tasks of the day. Kudos, right? Well, I turned to say something to the daycare provider, and in literally 2 seconds, I heard my daughter cry out in pain. When I turned my head, she was lying in a fetal position near the rear tire on the driver’s side of the car. To this day, I don’t know HOW that child fell; her shoes were tied, I don’t think her pants were too long, and I don’t think the earth’s gravitational pull shifted suddenly. But whatever the reason, she fell and ended up with bloody boo-boos on her elbow and knee (through the clothing…did she lose her balance? I’m still puzzled). They weren’t life-altering emergencies, but you don’t know how I wished I’d held her hand and walked her to the car, watching her like a hawk (like I usually do)! Nonetheless, though I want to protect her 24/7, it’s ridiculous to think I can tote a 5 year-old from daycare door to car door every blessed day God gives. At some point, she’s got to learn to walk on her own. When she gets hurt, I’m there with the peroxide, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, hugs and kisses. But to obsess about preventing every accident or growing pain isn’t realistic for me as a parent. If I’ve taught her well, she’ll apply my lessons and flourish.
Isn’t that how God is with us? He watches over us, fiercely protecting us from hurt, harm, and danger. He gives us instructions on moving ahead, going beyond what we know and moving into areas where we have to exercise our faith in HIM knowing the outcome. We don’t have to figure it out; He’s mapped out our course for us. When we obey, we’re covered by Him. What could be better? We’re not on our own in this day-to-day walk. When we trip and fall, He’s there to correct us and set us back on the right track. Praise God!
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart