Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23 (ESV)
It was a few days ago. I was headed to the back of the house from the kitchen. It requires that I pass through the family room. Our younger granddaughter, Ellie Kate, was staying with me for a few hours and was watching a movie in the family room while doing various acrobatic exercises across the entirety of the floor.
“Gran,” she said with a soft tone of expectancy while flipping up into a hand-stand, “please hold my legs.” I reached out and gently grabbed the now upside-down girl around the ankles.
“Now lift me up.” I obeyed dutifully, raising her head and hands a foot above the rug covering a pretty hard wood floor below.
“Now, please walk around the room with me.” I did, knowing that in a few days my lower back would probably remind me of this moment. But it’s always worth it.
Trust. That allowed me to lift her and carry her around the room.
Fearless and not fully aware of the consequences to her head or neck if I dropped her—there she hung, upside-down with only my grip securing her safety as we walked around viewing her world from a new perspective.
Trust. Total dependence, and in this case, on me.
Which leads to another character trait which will totally change our view of life—
And optimistic view in the midst of the peril of being dropped head first on the floor, which allowed her to take in the world around her with an expectancy of good.
And it was that trust and optimism which allowed Ellie Kate to not only take a look at her new upside-down world, but to embrace it and to enjoy it—not giving a moment of thought to her safety, knowing that she would be allright.
It’s the picture that David painted for us all in the familiar 23rd Psalm:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…
He leads me beside the still waters…
He restores my soul…
I will fear no evil, for you are with me…
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows…
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
It’s a picture that can be trusted. A picture to depend upon. A picture with which to embrace an optimistic and enthusiastic outlook of our life and whatever each day may bring our way.
But more than that—it’s a picture of a God who can be trusted, a God who can be depended upon, and a God who calls us, with Him, to an optimistic and enthusiastic view of life. The words “En Theos” themselves, from which our word “enthusiasm” derives—mean “In God.”
Look, I don’t know what you went through yesterday that was less than encouraging. I don’t know what you went through during times so many years ago that may still be painting a picture of your view of God and your life. What you may have gone through matters, but only in that it is a part of history from which you can learn. But when “what was” begins to paint the picture of “what can be” in our minds and hearts—well, it’s time to paint a different picture. We can learn from it and keep it in its proper place—the past—or we can repeat it in our lives and the lives of others.
And further, I don’t know what you’re facing today. It may seem to be a mountain so big that you can’t imagine how you can climb it. But remember, you and I don’t have to do it alone. The God Who created you and me can be trusted and depended upon to show us the way—maybe not over, but perhaps around or through.
And the beginning of that new picture of your life—that new view that trusts with an eternal optimism remembering that He is always there—may just begin with a hand-stand.
You never know what God can do with that—but whatever He does, it is always for your good.
“Okay Ellie Kate, but just one more time.”
Any of you believe that?
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2012. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.