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All Along

Have you ever watched a daddy toss his infant up in the air and then catch her?  It’s a scary thing to watch, but fascinating at the same time.  Will he catch her?  Whew.  Yes, he did.  Will he catch her?  Yes.

It used to drive me nuts when Todd would do this with the kids.  I remember that when he did that with our oldest, Hunter (who did survive, by the way, and is almost sixteen now), my heart would squeeze with panic, and I would protest loudly that the baby was getting scared.

“Doesn’t look scared to me,” Todd would laugh and continue to toss our chubby little redhead up in the air over and over.  On the way up, Hunter would squeeze his little eyes shut and squeal as he sucked in air.  Pulling his soft little arms in against his sides, his fists balled up, Hunter would smile in anticipation. On the way down, though, Hunter’s smile would fade and he would start to panic, reaching for something to grab onto.

Once, when I thought that Todd had waited too long to catch Hunter, I remember that I screamed.  Unshaken, my husband reached out and grasped Hunter around his middle like a quarterback grips the ball before he reaches back to throw, long fingers spread wide, his grip firm.

“Honey, I had him,” Todd smiled, never taking his adoring eyes off of his son. Only when Hunter was sure that his daddy had him did he give into hysterical fits of giggly, slobbery laughter, his eyes bright with adoration and trust for his daddy, who never, ever let him fall.

Sometimes, I feel like a baby on her way up.  My tummy in my throat, I feel set free by my faith.  When I sense that God has launched me into a new phase of life, a new adventure, or on a new mission, my heart pounds with anticipation.  All I can do is suck in air and smile as I wait to see how high the Father and I will go together.

Lately, though–more often than not–I feel more like a baby on her way down.  I know from experience that the Father will catch me, see me through the trials I face, and help me find my way without shaming His name, and yet I wonder, Will He?  Sometimes the drop seems to go on forever and I falter.  Panicky, I reach out for something to hold onto.  Finding nothing, I brace myself just in case.  Will He? All the while, I tell myself that this is just an exercise in faith, something God allowed to teach me to trust, Isn’t it?  He will catch me, Won’t He?

And, yes, He always does.  Again and again, the Father catches me.  And even when my panic is slow to subside and my heart struggles to find its regular beat, I feel His arms around me, strong and sure.  Inevitably, joy replaces fear.  He’s had me all along.

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