When I was around three years old, I had my first lesson on flying a kite. I remember it was a warm spring day with the leaves just beginning to bud on the trees. My dad excitedly took me out to fly my brand new Humpty Dumpty kite and I watched in awe as it caught the wind and began to soar. The kite flew beautifully while my dad held it firmly in his grip, but then he handed it to me. My little hand held it firmly for a minute, but suddenly, a big gust of wind came up and ripped the kite right out of my hands. My dad’s hands had been strong enough, but mine were not. My dad began a long sprint through the neighborhood with his seventies hair blowing in the wind. His mustache may have been blowing too. I’m not sure about this, but I’m sure it was long enough to. (Dad, you were actually kind of hipster) He was probably wearing his butterfly shirt, cowhide sandals and short jean shorts. I’m really not sure about this, but judging how many pictures we have from this era where he had on this outfit, I’m thinking it’s a pretty good guess. Sorry Dad. Anyway, even though this outfit was not really conducive to running, he ran like the speed of light (at least that’s what I remember thinking in my three year old mind) He did all of this to save my kite. I think it wound up in someone’s tree and Humpty Dumpty flew no more. Thanks anyway, Dad, you tried.
The reason that small kids and kites don’t mix all that well is because kids don’t have the strength to hold the kite when a gust of wind comes up. The wind is unpredictable. Sometimes it’s more of a breeze and the child can hold the kite, but when a gust comes, the child is not ready for it and the kite is ripped free.
This is what our life is like when what it is attached to is not secure. So many times, the things we tie our life to can look secure for a while, but we quickly find ourselves in a situation where we are shaken. We tie our lives to all kinds of things like finances, friends, career, family, church, our beliefs, our past, our future, health, marriage, etc etc etc, but ALL of these things are shakable, movable and not promised to us. Those things seemingly hold our lives just fine for a while, but we quickly learn that our circumstances can suddenly change. Some of these things can even be ripped from our lives in a moment.
A sure sign that our life is tied to the wrong thing is when we live in fear of losing the things we find our security in. In other blogs, I’ve written about how He has freed me from different fears. Part of the transformation process is when God takes our misplaced trust and starts to put it in Him. It’s a process of Him showing us His heart for us and teaching us Who He is so that we can trust Him. We choose to trust Him and let go of the thing we have found security in. Sometimes this happens just because of how He’s working in our hearts and sometimes this happens as a result of the thing we’ve found our security in being ripped out of our hands.
When we find ourselves shaken, it reveals a place we don’t really know Him that well. I have even found that in the places where we’re being shaken, we come to know a new part of Him that we could not have known before. I am now coming to see ‘shakings’ as an opportunity to discover more of who He is. You can’t really trust Him if you don’t know Him or if you believe the wrong thing about Him. That’s why coming to know Him more and more results in deeper and deeper trust. He has gradually been teaching me to trust Him and what I’ve found is that He is a good Father. Unexplainably good. He is for us and not against us. I expect this to be a process throughout life because honestly, at any point in my life, I could probably tell you a different place that I am learning to trust Him in. If not, then I am probably not growing. Do you know what I’ve found so far? He is never less than I had hoped for. Religion – yes. But Him, not once. I am starting not to fear that He will not come through, but rather waiting in expectation that He will show up. He always has. I can trace His movements throughout my life. Even those places where I felt like He had left.
If today you find yourself shaken by your circumstances, ask Him to anchor you in Him. We have had many ‘black box’ experiences and I’m sure we will have many more. We all do. I call ‘black box’ experiences, those experiences where you are in a completely dark place and don’t know the top from the bottom or the back from the front. Those times when you feel completely confused and spiritually dry. I don’t know if you’ve had those, but I have a pretty strong guess that you have. If you are in one right now, I want to remind you that God knows the beginning from the end and the top from the bottom. When your life is in knots like the string of a kite, He knows exactly what to do to untangle you. Psalm 139:12 says that even the darkness is not dark to Him. This means that you may feel that you are at a complete loss about your life or your heart, but He is not. When you feel your life being shaken, ask Him to help you to put your trust in Him. Our life is held by Him, but we just have to know it. If you don’t REALLY know it, ask Him to show you His heart for you. He may not do it the second you ask, but He will begin to show you Himself in the midst of your circumstance. I am confident of this. He loves us more than we could possibly imagine and He is wiser than the wisest of men and He is on our side! The proof is the Cross. He went to some pretty great lengths to demonstrate His love for us. I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful for a God that we can trust to hold our lives in His hands – the past, the future and the now.
Psalm 62:6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.
**Photo credit: By USFWS Mountain-Prairie (Young Girl and Kite) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons