Squeals of fear and delight erupted as my husband pushed our grandkids around the yard in the wheelbarrow. It was a simple, spring Saturday, reminiscent of those I’d had myself as a child – the kind of day that is becoming scarce in the busy-ness of 21st Century life. The smiles were ear-to-ear one moment followed by tight lips, big startled eyes and death grips the next. It was a great day full of fun! After baths, we were all worn out and settled in to sleep by 8:30pm. Life the way it’s supposed to be.
Isn’t that how life is on this journey with Father God?
One moment were squealing with delight, pure joy, thrilled at the ride Our Lord has taken us on. Then in a heartbeat we’re gripping tightly onto anything around us, caught off guard, feeling as if danger lurks around the next corner, not liking it at all that we are not in control.
We adults need some tips for our wheelbarrow ride with Jesus!
- Hang on tight – You’re not in control! Hanging on is fine as long as we grab onto the right thing. “You, God, are my God,… I cling to you;” (Psalm 63:8) Our job in any of the thrills or chills of life is to cling to the Father. Hang on and trust Him. He’s got it! It doesn’t seem like it sometimes. That wheelbarrow may seem like it’s about to tip over. He may not always take us where we want to go. He’s in control. And he’s got a great ride planned for us, if we can relax and trust him.
- Praise the Lord! Squeal out loud! Tell everyone around you in loud, excited tones. Don’t hold back. We adults tend to fret over being too exuberant, sounding arrogant, or looking weird to others. Get over it! Psalm 63:3-4 says, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” The psalmist was unafraid to declare the blessings, joy, and praises of his life. We should be as well.
- Remember God’s omnipotent power & majestic glory! Psalm 63:2 “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.” When we feel we’re about to “tump” over in that wheelbarrow, fear is a natural reaction for a moment. However, that fear should spur us to dig in the Word and pour out the prayer. In His Word we’ll see His power over illness, nature, demons, even death. We serve a powerful God who can do what He says in His word He can do. With Him NOTHING is impossible. As we read and pray and allow ourselves to fully believe, our faith is strengthened, the anxiety subsides. We’ll be able to say through the tears “I really don’t like this Lord. But I love you and trust you. I know you’re strong enough to handle this. I’m just afraid you’re going to allow something painful in my life. I’m yours. Lord. I love you no matter what.”
- Enjoy the ride! Be satisfied in what the Father has provided for us! Psalm 63:5-7 “I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.” The night after the wheelbarrow ride we had a yummy dinner on the deck. PapaSto grilled hamburgers and hotdogs on the deck. And the boys did go to bed with singing on their lips. (It was the PJ Masks theme song as they lay down watching it before they went to sleep – but still… their was joy in their little hearts.) And we adults can feast on what He provides for us and lay down in joy to sweet sleep as well.
- Long for those precious times with Your Father! When “Da Boyz” – my grandkids as my husband calls them – are not with their Granddaddy, they miss him. They miss all he does with them and for them. They miss his love and hugs. They miss his Saturday morning breakfasts and grilling out and ice cream sandwiches. They miss bike rides, mountain climbs, camping trips, and wheelbarrow rides among other things. When we see them during the week and it’s not a night they are coming to spend the night with Gigi, they always beg to come over. They know PapaSto will have something good planned. And we should have that hope and joy in our Heavenly Father! Verse 1 of Psalm 63 says, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Just as we long for those simple, sweet days of childhood past, a part of us longs for what was lost back in the Garden of Eden through the curse of sin. We long for joy without pain, the knight in shining armor to sweep in and rescue us, and a life of beauty and peace instead of the chaos and the mundane that mark our lives. I sometimes find myself retreating from these thoughts of What if sin had never entered the world? and What if life were beautiful and uncomplicated as when God first created the Garden? Somehow those thoughts seem sad to think. But in reality we need to hope for life the way it was meant to be. We need to dwell on the promise of a New Heaven and New Earth. Hope in a forever with Jesus strengthens us to walk through this life, so spend some time contemplating your future hope. Allow yourself to long to be with your Heavenly Daddy, to long for Paradise Lost to be regained!
- Remember that our Father will protect and defend. Psalm 63:9-11 says, “Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.” When those little munchkins are riding with their Granddaddy, they are never afraid of strangers or robbers or bad guys. They have no doubt that their Papa would defend them, lay down his life for them, and keep them safe. We can rest in our Daddy in the same way. God is on your side.
We often feel we have to push and strive and make our way in this world. But really we are God’s own children riding in that wheelbarrow. He’s the one directing us and doing the work to get us through. So as you ride through the joys and terrors of life, never forget who is pushing the wheelbarrow.