Yesterday morning, I dropped my two-year old off for preschool. This is only his second week of school, and we have yet to make a full M/W/F three day week. He is still adjusting to the new routine, and due to Labor Day there hasn’t been much consistency to help with the transition. Today was the first time his class experienced chapel. Rather than taking him directly to his room, on chapel days we go to the big auditorium first. (Or after yesterday, I’d like to refer to it as the big-ominous-overwhelming-room-of-tears).
Seriously, I don’t know how these teachers do it.
My little guy was fine sitting in my lap during the fun song, short message, and repeat prayer. It was the scary rainbow striped ribbon that flipped a switch in him. At first, he headed over to join his class in line. He grasped the brightly colored rainbow cord used to keep the line of children all together. He was hesitant at first, but complied simply because that’s what everyone else seemed to be doing. Once the line started to move towards the exit doors, and his section of ribbon tugged, he looked back at me with complete terror in his eyes.
In short, what followed included, but was not limited to: screaming, tears, death grips, etc.
In a moment like that, all a seasoned parent can do is laugh. They all do it–every kid has moments when separation anxiety overtakes them.
At some point, we all have to get by our line-buddy and take steps away from comfort toward the unknown. It’s much, much harder the older I get, though the level of risk hasn’t changed.
As much as we try to plan and prepare, none of us knows what the future holds. Even with great job security, or a firm family foundation, we cannot predict what lies ahead. We were not given that breadth of vision sought by Eve in the Garden. Humanity wanted it then, and we want it now…but the good Lord knows having the ability to see what lies outside the doors of our present circumstances will never be good for us.
We, like my son, have to learn to trust the rainbow that ties us all together.
(I know this is starting to sound a little pie-in-the-sky unicorns and rainbows, but hang with me…I will limit the glitter and butterflies.)
Any good Sunday-School-goer knows what a rainbow represents…God’s promise to Noah and the rest of creation.
“When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
We must learn to grab hold of the promises of Jesus and trust that they will guide us to the next thing, out of the current scary and overwhelming circumstances. It’s a preschool lesson that will produce a lifetime of confidence, peace, and joy. It’s necessary to trust that what lies around the corner, even if equally scary and overwhelming, will be good for us and our maturation.
If we merely trust when we assume the hard stuff only leads to happiness, then we are still not completely trusting Him.
I looked at my son struggling to trust that rope and where it was leading. He fearfully doubted his safety and well-being. I knew his fears were unwarranted. His teachers love him. Toys, snacks, and only good things were waiting for him on the other side of the hallway. He probably had to learn to share yesterday, which most likely wasn’t fun, but will prove one day to be a valuable experience. There’s a significantly good chance that he ran into a wall yesterday and got hurt. (It’s kind of the platform he’s riding right now). Even so, I had no doubt he would be loved and tended to.
Dare I say, ALL my fears are also unwarranted. After all, God has made a covenant with me as well:
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Trusting His promises and blindly grabbing hold of them as we are tugged down unknown paths into new territories takes practice. Every two-year-old learns to trust the rainbow ribbon connection eventually, but only after consistently being put in situations that require them to join others and find their place in line.
Undoubtedly, we are all in a situation or circumstance that requires us to trust God and His promises. Should we not take the opportunity and grab hold? Though we feel alone, we are in reality with a multitude of others, shuffling our feet through life side by side. Though we are scared, the truth is that our safety is not in question. Though we feel overwhelmed and ready to cry, we have hope-filled promises running as a safety line right in front of our snotty noses.
I leave you with some promises. Stand by my side and let’s cling to them together.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
2 Corinthians 1:20
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.