My Isaiah is a very passionate boy. He loves life and laughs hard. He gets excited by simple things and transforms everything into an adventure. He tells stories with gusto and plays with wild imagination. He feels deeply and loves willingly and without abandon.
But with that said passion also often comes major frustration. He gets super discouraged when he can’t figure something out or thinks he might fail. And if he gets hurt, he gets mad…and it’s always someone’s (or something’s) fault.
If he gets hurt while wrestling around with Daddy, it’s Daddy’s fault. If he falls while walking, it’s the sidewalk’s fault. On Labor Day he got a bloody nose while riding a carnival ride at the county fair and…you guessed it, he was horribly angry at the large piece metal amusement machinery.
Adam’s day off is Monday, so this week was our first “Daddy’s Day Off” (which is a HUGE deal around here) during which Isaiah was away at kindergarten. Because Isaiah loves hiking and exploring, we picked him up from school that afternoon and headed to a nearby state park to go for a hike as a family.
The trail we were on was a little slick in spots and there were many roots and stones for my clumsy little boy (and his clumsy Mama) to slip or trip on.
“Why do they DO this?! They should move all of this stuff off of the path!”
In his anger and frustration, I tried to gently explain to my boy that that would make it a sidewalk and not a hiking trail…but he didn’t seem amused. 😉
Then while throwing rocks into a stream that went by (a guaranteed way to keep my boys AND their Daddy entertained for a good while), Isaiah tripped and fell on a large rock. He didn’t really get hurt. He wasn’t bleeding. But he fell on his hands, bumped his knees, and, boy, was he mad.
“I don’t like this! Who put them here? They shouldn’t put those here!”
I knew better than to giggle at his outburst (though I wanted to) and was struck by my husband’s response…
“Isaiah, God put it there. It’s our job to watch where we’re going.”
I immediately thought of how often (how right NOW) I’m faced with difficult circumstances or struggles or hurts and I get angry and frustrated that the “rock” was put there.
It’s in my way. I don’t want it there. It hurts me. It makes me feel vulnerable, frustrated, weak, feeble, and anxious.
I’ve been there this week. Circumstances causing me to fall into a lump with confused, frustrated tears flowing freely. And the Holy Spirit directed me to this verse…
“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not!'”
– Isaiah 35:3-4
There are moments when pain or difficulties make me want to be angry and blame someone. Sometimes that blame is even directed at my Father. I know that He’s ordained it. That He’s allowed the rock to fall there. But it hurts. It trips me up. And I don’t understand.
I don’t always see that the rock helps complete the beauty of the landscape of this life I’ve been given. I’m not always quick to ask for stronger hands, sturdier knees, or freedom from fear. I simply want that rock out of my way.
Oh, anxious heart. Be strong; fear not!
If Isaiah had been paying more attention to where he was going, he probably could have avoided his fall. If he had watched closely as his Daddy maneuvered over the same rocks, perhaps he would have gotten past them as well.
Often times I tend to focus more on the circumstances around me – more on the rock – and take my eyes off of where I’m going.
But what about when it’s dark and I can’t really see clearly where I am, let alone where I’m supposed to go next?
“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.”
– Isaiah 42:16
Oh, how I need His guidance. I’m falling all over myself over here.
I cuddled my sweet Tobias before bed last night and found myself saying his name over and over.
Toby, Toby, Toby. God is good.
Remembering God’s call for me to be satisfied in His goodness.
And when life feels anything but stable, I must remember that the One who put the rock there is still good.
I haven’t been and I never will be forsaken.
“…He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.”
– Isaiah 33:6
He is my stability.
He is my portion. My abundance, wealth, riches, and treasure.
An abundance of salvation (yĕshuw`ah): n. deliverance, prosperity, victory.
An abundance of wisdom (chokmah): n. skill, shrewdness, prudence.
An abundance of knowledge (da`ath): n. perception, discernment, understanding.
Regardless of the rocks on the path, He will be the stability of my times.
So I’m seeking to trust.
Maybe He’ll move the rock. Maybe He’ll help me step over it. Or maybe He’ll take me in a different direction all together.
Either way, I’m leaning hard on His stability.
And keeping my eyes fixed on the One Who put that rock there.
Thanks for the reminder, Isaiah James.
…Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now…
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior…
– from Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United