Girlfriends in God - Mar. 9, 2009

March 9, 2009 
Bailing on God 
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth 
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust God from the bottom of your heart.” (The Message)

Friend to Friend 
I absolutely love being a grandmother and wholeheartedly agree with the saying, “If I had known grandchildren were so wonderful, I would have had them first!”  Our fifteen-month-old granddaughter, Lelia Kay, sparkles with joy and has an infectious laugh that instantly captures your heart and compels you to laugh along with her.  Consequently, our son, Jered, is always looking for ways to make her laugh.  On a recent visit, he proudly demonstrated one of the new “tricks” he had taught Lelia. I was horrified!

Jered came home from work, scooped up his squealing daughter in his arms and gave her a big hug.  Lelia giggled, grabbed her daddy’s shirt in both hands and looked up at Jered, a mischievous sparkle in her eyes.  He looked over at me and said, “Watch, mom!”  Jered tightened his hold on his daughter’s chubby little legs, and said, “Bail, Lelia!”  Surely, I had heard him wrong.  Nope!  My precious grandbaby immediately fell backwards through the air, hands dangling loosely over her head, swinging her little body through her daddy’s legs, laughing hysterically.  My stomach fell and my mouth flew open as I watched her repeat this terrifying toddler version of bungee jumping.  Not once did Lelia seem to be afraid or even cautious as she totally abandoned herself to the security of her father’s arms and heart. 

That picture of faith took on a whole new meaning as we replayed it over dinner. Jered said, “I have to be careful.  Lelia will sometimes bail on me when I’m not expecting it.”  (Yes!  That statement did increase my prayer life.)  I looked at Jered and like so many times over the years, marveled at his strength, thinking of the countless hours he has spent lifting weights, playing football and now building and remodeling homes.  His massive arms and shoulders are a testimony of discipline and power.  No wonder Lelia feels safe and secure in those arms. 

I decided then and there that I want to be like Lelia.  I want my faith in God to grow to the place where I can bail on God and totally abandon myself to my Father’s safe, strong arms, secure in the knowledge that He will catch me when I fall.  I want to obey God without fear, trusting Him to be all I need.  I want to depend on and experience God’s power and strength as I plunge into His plan for my life, knowing that He is aware of every step I take, that He monitors every breath I breathe and sees every tear I cry. 

How about you?  Are you ready to bail into the arms of God? 

Let’s Pray 
Father, I thank You for the strength and power of Your love.  I praise You for Your faithfulness in my life.  I long to believe You wholly and want to walk in a radical obedience to Your truth.  Help me to choose faith over fear and trust over doubt.  Teach me to rest in Your arms and trust Your heart, even when I don’t understand Your process.  I choose to rest in You and depend upon your power in my life today. 

In Jesus’ name, 

Now It’s Your Turn 
Read Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”  In your own words, describe the “chariots” and “horses” in your life.  Where do you place your trust?  In whom or what do you trust?  Are you satisfied with the results?

The New Century Version of the Bible translates today’s key verse in Proverbs 3:5 as “Trust the Lord with all your heart and don’t depend on your own understanding.”  What part does human understanding play in the process of strengthening our faith in God?  What does the word “all” mean to you when it comes to obedience to God? 

More From The Girlfriends 
It can be scary to step out in faith. We tend to focus on what we cannot see instead of choosing to focus on God and His promises.  We need to grow and mature in Christ but we also need to remain childlike in our faith.  Jered has never dropped Lelia.  It probably has not even occurred to her that her Father could or would drop her.  Lelia’s trust in her daddy is complete and whole.  And I can tell you that Jered delights in that trust and will do everything he can to protect it.  God is like that.  He celebrates even our tiniest step of faith and rejoices when we abandon our self to Him.  Today, choose to trust God. 

I would love to help you on your journey. Stepping Out in Faith is now available as am MP3 download and will help you learn how to strengthen your faith in God.  Does stress try to sabotage your walk with God? My book, Escaping the Stress Trap, takes a fresh look at Psalm 23 and offers practical ways to manage the stress in your life.  Be sure to check out my weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey.  

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Originally published Monday, 09 March 2009.