We have recently hit the developmental milestone of JUMPING in our household. I knew this would come at some point and we’ve been practicing for a couple of years, but his legs have finally seemed to figure it out… and now they won’t stop! He jumps on the bed. Jumps on the couch. Jumps off the steps. Climbs onto the dresser and jumps off that too. He’ll even jump from the floor while standing still. For a child who is supposed to have significantly low muscle tone, he suddenly grew springs in his legs!
Promoting such skill in kiddos with low tone is encouraged because it helps build confidence and strength. I suppose that is one of the (many) perks of special needs parenting, I can not only turn a blind eye to “disruptive activity” (gargling at the dinner table, for example), I can actually encourage it! (it helps with oral motor control and speech therapy). The jumping though, has been an interesting one to manage, because I’m the one he jumps TOWARD, ON, TO and THROUGH, laughing through his entire flight. And rarely does he tell me he is about to defy gravity. More than once I’ve been capsized while putting on my shoe by a 4 year old flying from the steps above. Or been tackled to the floor by a giggly little boy inbound from the edge of something more than 39 inches high. After one particularly eventful soaring, I channeled my mother with a “Mercy child! What’s with all the jumping?”
It’s fun of course, but the truth is: he jumps… because he knows I’ll catch him. It’s that simple. He is so assured of my presence, he has no fear. No doubt. NONE. His confidence absolutely does not waver. It is impressive. And it makes my heart happy that we have bonded so well. But seriously, where does that level of trust come from? Doesn’t he understand he could get hurt?!
The fact is, I don’t have that kind of faith. I question. I analyze. I plan ahead. I keep a contingency plan carefully tucked away, just in case. When God says JUMP, I automatically scan the horizon for pitfalls and backup plans. (It’s a skill, I tell ya!) I wonder if Peter did the same thing when the Lord called him out into the water? Even as Jesus was still speaking, was Peter aware of the whipping wind against his cheek and the crash of the waves on his back while he balanced himself in the boat? Did he mentally calculate how far it was to shore and recall his best childhood swim time at Galilean Junior Fisherman camp? Did he hesitate at all?? Or, did he look deeply into the eyes of his Savior… and jump out of the boat?
I want so desperately to be THAT Peter; the Peter that didn’t pick up the burden of consequences or contingency plans when obeying God’s call, especially in the adoption life. The Peter that flew out of the boat not even aware of the waves below him because he was solely focused on Who was there to catch him. If that was the Peter that left the boat, his heart must have been filled with SO MUCH sweet joy. The same unburdened joy I hear in the boyish giggle bounding off the toy box and onto the couch.
We each struggle with obedience and faith in our own ways – I’m sure not so differently. I wonder how much more we would see the Lord move in our adoption lives if we focused not on the hesitation of jumping, but the joy of the flight and landing safely in our Savior’s arms? That’s some unhindered faith! The old words echo well, O for grace to trust Him more.
‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
and to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
and to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!
O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
just to trust his cleansing blood;
and in simple faith to plunge me
neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
just from sin and self to cease;
just from Jesus simply taking
life and rest, and joy and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust thee,
precious Jesus, Savior, friend;
and I know that thou art with me,
wilt be with me to the end.