Caleb has been really enjoying his skateboard. But there are certain things in skateboarding that require tons of effort, tons of patience...and quite honestly, tons of pain. This kid has been working on how to Ollie for about a year. But he got it! Recently though, he made his first few trips to the skatepark. The new hard thing: "dropping in" on a ramp. His first time trying, he just went for it. But he learned pretty quickly that it can be very painful as you are learning. Over and over, with his back and hips taking the brunt of the hit.
It's scary, up there at the top of the ramp, looking down. You line up your board, set your feet...and the hardest part: don't hesitate.
The longer you stand there, the more you psych yourself out and the less likely you are to actually go!
Over and over, the Lord has brought these words to mind as I've watched Caleb face his fears and conquer the "drop in."
I've thought about 2013...and how in some ways it felt like the year of standing at the top of the ramp, only to find myself crumpled at the bottom with my back and hips in pain.
There have been some hard things. Many of them so deep that I can't even give them words. At least not yet.
But what the Lord had so sweetly whispered to me were those two words as a reminder: don't hesitate.
Don't look back and continually ponder every fall and every pain. Learn from them, YES!! But don't wallow in them. Don't swim in them. Set the board. Position your feet. And go for it hard. Don't hold back. Don't hesitate.
And so as I look ahead to 2014...that is what I am receiving from the Lord and asking Him to bring to life. Don't hesitate. I want to hear His voice, and I want to go for it hard. I will NOT, by His grace, let the pain or hardship of the past, keep me from living courageously today. By His grace, I will not stand at the top, psyching myself out by the hurts and fears of the past. I will not hesitate. And when I do....by that same grace, I will get back up and face it again. Without hesitation.
So. My prayer is that whoever is reading this....maybe you had a hard 2013 also. Or maybe you had a wonderful 2013!!! Either way...my prayer is that God would whisper those sweet words: don't hesitate. That they would resonate in your own heart, and that you would set your mind to hearing His voice, and going for it hard. No holding back. No hesitation.
And the truly beautiful thing is that, because Jesus has "cleared the way" for us, we can approach God without any hesitation....trusting that He cares for us. And whether I find myself conquering the ramp, or in need of *more practice*, He is there with me. :-)
Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow Him.... (1 Kings 18:21 HCSB)
God said to Joshua, “Don’t be timid and don’t so much as hesitate. Take all your soldiers with you and go back to Ai. I have turned the king of Ai over to you—his people, his city, and his land. (Joshua 8:1 MSG)
So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. (Hebrews 10:19-21 MSG)
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Romans 8:31-39 MSG)