Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (The Bible, Proverbs 3:5, NIV)
What is God’s spirit telling me today?
Working in the Garden
My child, does the story of the bull take you to another time only a year later? Again, at the sawmill where you spent your summers. You were out in the garden weeding the garden and picking strawberries that day. You must have been working for at least an hour in that hot sun, only nine years old, and you got tired and wanted to take a break. There’s nothing wrong with that.
You can see how adults condition themselves to take coffee breaks every couple of hours, even in office jobs, so it shouldn’t be a bad thing for a nine-year-old to take a play break after physical labour in the hot sun.
Children Need to be Children
You loved to explore, to run, and to climb. And today you just had to climb a tree. Nothing wrong with that. And you climbed, up from one branch to another, with the agility of a young child, no fear and no adult watching and calling out to be careful.
Oh, sometimes, I want to take those adults and lock them away to give their children a break, to let them explore their world, My world that I have given to them. Children need to experience both their world and their physical abilities – running, climbing, swinging, all the body movements that they are capable of using.
So, higher and higher you went. I knew about that rotten branch several feet up. I knew what would happen when you stepped on it. And I could have stopped you from going higher. I could have caused someone to come outside and yell at you to get down. But I didn’t. I let you climb, experiencing the freedom of childhood. You missed so much because of fear as a younger child. You needed to learn and grow.
Then you stepped on that rotten branch and it broke, rot unable to withstand the pressure of even a young child’s weight on it. And you fell. In that instant, you cried out to Me to save you and I was proud – my child learning to let go and trust in Me.
You landed hard on that pile of lumber beneath the tree. Aren’t you glad that wasps didn’t build a nest in that pile like they did in so many others that you discovered that summer? And you lay there for a few short seconds recovering your breath – even at that young age, you knew your fall could hurt you badly.
Then looking at your right arm, searing with pain from wrist to shoulder, you saw an ugly sight. Your wrist hanging down in such a strange position that you knew there was something wrong. Up you got and ran to the house, calling out, “Oh me, oh my, I’ve broken my arm.” Indeed you had, dislocating your wrist and breaking your arm in two places.
Aren’t you glad now you were able to get up and run to the house? Aren’t you glad you didn’t just lie there on top of the boards, unconscious with a head injury? Aren’t you glad your body wasn’t twisted and mangled with damage to the spine that meant you would never walk again?
It could have been. And your aunt knew that at the time, but said nothing, not to you anyway. But she did talk to Me about it when things settled down and you returned from the hospital with your cast from wrist to shoulder and only a few scratches on your body. She didn’t show much emotion, but that night she wept inwardly as she told Me how thankful she was that I had spared you from greater injury.
And even in spite of her serious ways, she had a hint of humour in her words as she thanked Me for answering your prayer – yes, you had prayed for a broken arm! And you got it. I know, it would have been more fun to get it during the school year when all the students in school could sign your cast and put you on a pedestal for a day or two, since a broken arm was such a way to get attention from the other kids.
And you, you didn’t even thank Me for the broken arm. You berated yourself and told yourself that you must have deserved it – you were supposed to be weeding and picking strawberries and went off to play instead. You looked at your injury as a sign that you were being punished for your sins.
The Trust Lesson
Oh, My child, that’s not what it was about. It was a trust lesson, not punishment. I allowed the natural consequence of an action to unfold – not to punish, just because that is part of life. And now there is a larger lesson for you to learn. A rotten tree limb is disease and disease is sin. There are natural consequences to putting yourself in a place where sin abides.
My children fall, sometimes hard like you did, and sometimes not as hard. But regardless of how you land, I am always there. I do break the fall at times and My children walk away unscathed. Other times, I just let the natural consequence play itself out. I always want to rescue, rescue, rescue. But I know that is the wrong thing to do.
I want you to live life fully, to experience the joy. I know at times there will also be pain, but that provides understanding about life that you would learn no other way. I hope during those challenging times you are as willing to trust Me as you do when your days are full of joy.