Saturday, October 01, 2011

Life Lessons from Surfing...

When we first started having kids, we did take them to the beach... but just barely. What I mean by that was that we just didn't always do it well. We were just getting by in our beach visits-and poor Ben, hasn't spent nearly as much time on a surfboard in the last ten years as he did in the previous ten. ;)

Anyhow, he has gently encouraged the kids to get on the board, or get out in the ocean. But recently, he was really feeling like it was time to take them out on the board whether they wanted to or not. Really, we were in agreement that they should TRY to learn to surf, and if they just didn't like it after that, then we wouldn't push the issue. Well, when we announced our beach day this morning, we also informed them that they would each get a turn with Daddy on the surfboard (except Noah since he is still coughing). There was fear and trepidation all around, except for Ezra who has been talking about "surfing with Daddy" for days now.
But, Emma took it the hardest. She was so distraught that she laid on her bed and moped for a good hour. Finally I called her in and we had a great chat. I explained that sometimes, God asks us to do things that are scary. But when he does, he always gives us everything we need to obey Him. And, He many times does not give us those things ahead of time, like an hour before we are to get in the water, but He gives them just at the time we need them. I assured her that Daddy would do whatever she needed to feel safe: hold her, stay right by her, etc.
I also cautioned her in letting fear get the best of her... because many times, we get so worked up in fear, and then we find that it's actually too windy to even get in the water, or the waves are too big and it's not the right day.... Our Father is so much more concerned about our heart, and our willingness to obey. (Side note: Emma wondered how we knew that God was asking her to go on Daddy's surfboard, and I assured her that it was us asking, not God. But it was a very good lesson for her to learn, nonetheless.)
And so, they each had a turn with Daddy on the surfboard. And it turns out, that Emma had the best time of them all. She paddled on the board all by herself, and even jumped off the board into deep water and swam back to the board all by herself. Caleb and Daddy got hit hard by a wave on their way out, so he was a little traumatized. He recovered and pressed on, and although I don't think I could say he enjoyed it, he was proud of himself for his bravery. And Ezra, well, he enjoyed telling everyone on the beach, "I surfed with my Daddy. I was scared."
And yet, God, in His grace, gave each of them everything they needed to obey. And I was reminded that if I just cry out to my Father, He will give me everything I need to obey as well.

"Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go." Joshua 1:7

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