Despite a bleak weather forecast today, I decided to take Ava to the beach. Downpour was the outlook for the following few days, so I grabbed the opportunity of dry weather with both hands, and we got ourselves ready!
As we neared the end of the slope leading to the beach, we were greeted with a lengthy pool of rocks and pebbles. It was clear the buggy would have to stay on this side and Ava and I would walk across to get to the beach.
Bursting with excitement at the rocks beneath us (this girl loves them!) and the beach in view just ahead, I carried her across this rocky path barefoot.
Once we arrived on the other side, she ran on the beach (in true Ava fashion- what would appear a drunken walk) and made marks in the sand. Hand selectively pulled off every shell that made its home on a rock face and disturbed every beach worms hole by sticking her fingers down each one. She face-planted many water pools, and tried the delicacy of sand and shell combination by the handful! What a treat!
Pretty soon though, as the beach often does (method in my madness on an ever so slightly chilly morning) she became tired. Her legs no longer strong enough to carry her, emotions struggling to cope with the sheer tiredness that loomed, she reached up as only children know how, grasping at my legs for me to pick her up.
So I lovingly scooped her up, knowing just what she needed, and headed back to the rocky pool with the buggy in sight.
This time though, on this journey back through the rock pool, God stopped me in my tracks as He often does and reminded me of a simple truth.
I’ll carry you.
Just as I was doing with Ava, He does for us.
When we’re tired, weak, burned out, we only need reach out to Him, and He’ll lovingly scoop us up and carry us.
He’ll carry us across the rocky pools of life, where just as it hurt the soles of my feet, treading over sharp, uneven and difficult footing, He has and will forever take on that pain for us. Just as I didn’t want Ava to feel the pain beneath her feet or fall and cause herself harm, neither does God want that for us.
He carries us over and through the rough and smooth. He bears the pain and carries us through it, always helping us reach the other side.
It may take time. It took me a lot longer on the way back, desperately trying to find large flat rocks to balance on, but I got Ava to dry land, back to a place of rest. And it may take longer with God, longer than you expected.
He may take you on a different route. It may seem like you’ll never get to the other side, but God hasn’t put you down. Whatever you’re dealing with, it is never too much of a burden for God. He carries you always, and in Him, in those moments, we can find rest.
Reach out and Rest
Ava already began to rest her head on my shoulder, knowing that in my arms, she’d already found her resting place. She didn’t look to the other side of the rock pool where her buggy was thinking, if I could just get there then I’ll be ok. No, she reached up way back on the beach in the moment she was burned out, and knew once she was lifted up and in my arms, that I’d carry her and she could rest.
Oh if we only had child-like faith more often.
If only we reached out to God there in that moment, before we even arrive at ‘burned out’, striving to do it all on our own, knowing that He would carry us. He’d lead us across that rocky path, and in getting to the other side, we can already seek rest and comfort in Him along the way.
Across that pool, Ava wasn’t frightened, worried, hopeless or in despair. She trusted me that I’d get her across. She had full view of what was beneath her and could no doubt feel my imbalance at times, but she never once flinched or wavered worrying that I would drop her, that we wouldn’t make it, that it looked impossible with so many sharp and unsteady rocks beneath us. She placed all her trust in me and let me focus on getting her to the other side.
Oh how different our walk with God would be if we had faith like children do. Faith in our Father that no matter the outlook of our current situation, we are filled with a deep trust that He’ll get us to the other side. If we didn’t look at how totally impossible it might seem, or worry that God just isn’t big enough to cope with this one. If we just trusted.
How much more differently would we live? If in our times of trouble, tiredness, weakness, no matter how big or small, we just reached out. If we laid our head on His mighty shoulders, trusting Him to carry us across and through that rocky path, always with a plan in mind to get us to safety.
His abundant blessings
What a treat Ava had though when we reached her buggy. I had a dry set of clothes, clean nappy, her favourite snacks to eat and a buggy for her to be pushed in so she could rest her legs.
And I believe God has the same for us. When we get to the other side of whatever it is were going through, God has prepared a place of abundant and overflowing blessings. With the things we desire and are good for us. Perhaps something better than we even imagined.
So we don’t need to have a bleak outlook, we don’t need to set the bar low, with merely ‘I’d just be happy with this.’ Believe that through this trial God will use your pain for good, He will provide, He will bless your socks off, He will have everything you need and more waiting for you when you least expect it.
But reach out first, allow Him to carry you. Rest in Him until you get to the other side, and don’t fear or worry as He does. Trust in Him completely that He loves you, He carries you, He feels your pain, and he will somehow work all things out for good.
Isaiah 46:4 (NCV)
“Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you.”
Isaiah 41:10 (MSG)
‘I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.’
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].