Just Put Your Feet Down
I was maybe 5 years old and it was probably January. I know this because I was bundled up tight and standing on the frozen pond in front of our family home. My Dad was in sight, but not within reach, and that’s what I remember thinking when me and my puffy snow suit fell through the ice on that pond. I don’t remember much really, except that I was panicked and I had my eyes locked on my Dad, who was surprisingly calm and seemed to be in slow motion as he worked his way towards me. I remember this too, he did not take his eyes off of me. And in a steady, firm voice, he said, “Just put your feet down. You can stand.”
And in my 5 year old mind I knew that his was the voice that I could trust. I put my feet down and stood up. He came near and scooped me out of the pond, took me inside warmed me up, where we talked about what we had learned that day.
There are many lessons from that day in the pond. I assure you that I now use more caution when wandering out on frozen bodies of water, but the greater lessons have come as I have faced rough patches and dark valleys in my life. Just as the ice gave way under my five year old feet that day, life has a way of cracking and breaking beneath us, leaving us panicked and over our heads in trauma, brokenness, loss, and illness. Sometimes we walk into dangerous situations with eyes wide open, willing to take the risk, while other times we are blindsided and surprised and heartbroken by things falling apart.
I learned in the pond that day that I could trust the voice of my father, that he was not far away and that his eyes were on me. He didn’t keep me from crashing through the ice, but he certainly was close by so that when I turned to him, he was there, ready to pull me out.
How can I not compare this to my relationship with my Heavenly Father? It seems to me to be exactly how He works in so many areas of my life. I walk out on the ice, He stands by. I crash through the ice, eyes wide open, arms flailing, and He makes His move towards me. Sometimes I think He moves entirely too slow, and sometimes He doesn’t move the way I think I need Him to. But without question, there has never been a time in my life that I locked eyes with my Heavenly Father and He did not come near.
As He comes near to us in our brokenness, He brings reminders of truth…. I will never leave you. I will do immeasurably more in you. You are mine. I love you enough to die for you. I will see you through everything. Even when you don’t understand, I am in control. You can trust Me.
In all seasons of brokenness, wherever you are in the valley, we can trust the voice of our Father. We can stand on His promises, and when we fear we are drowning in our circumstances, we just need to put our feet down, lock eyes with Him and stand up. He is faithful to come near. You can trust Him.