My 2 year old and I have this fun little game I try to get him to play anytime I have to change him. After I get him dressed, I stand him up on the table, put my hands out and say, “1, 2, 3, JUMP!” Most often, he laughs and then just leans forward, where I grab him, kiss his cheeks and swing him down. We’ve been playing this game for a few months now, so I can pretty much predict how he’s going to respond. To my surprise, this week, he actually bent down, threw his arms out and leaped off the table. (Thankfully, I caught him without him noticing the “WHOA!!” in my eyes.) We laughed as I kissed his face while lowering him to the floor. There was no way he could have known, but my heart swelled when I was holding him; there’s never been a doubt that my little boy loves me, but he showed me then he trusts me more than he ever had before.
Oftentimes, I can see the Father before me, beckoning me to jump, hands ready to catch me. Frequently, it looks like an opportunity to give a little more than I’m comfortable, an unlikely friendship presenting itself or a job/ministry opportunity I don’t feel ready for. Like my son, I usually hesitate, and either reach my arms out first and slightly lean, waiting to see if He’ll actually catch me, not throwing my whole self into what I’m being presented. I love Him, but I’m not entirely convinced he won’t let me fall on my face or worse, get hurt.
Yet there he stands, beckoning me with His love. His word says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:3-4) Each mention of LORD is using the personal name of God, and it is that person, who has declared that He makes all things work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes, that calls us forward. (Romans 8:28)
And so, like the man who was presented with the opportunity to have Jesus deliver his son from an unclean spirit, (Mark 9) I’ve adopted the prayer, “I believe, help my unbelief.” I believe in Your love, help my unbelief that says I’ll end up a splat on the floor. I believe in your grace. Help my unbelief that says messes in my life are mine and mine alone to clean up. I believe You are good. Help my unbelief that suggests my circumstances say more about your goodness than your character. And soon, before I know it, I’ll just be saying, “I believe…” while I jump into his open arms.