16 November 2014


Have you ever watched a child with a helium balloon?  Sometimes I forget how much bang you get for your buck with balloons.  My boys love them.  They potentially bring delight for hours (days if you pay for that extra stuff they spray in them!)

I have to say 'potentially' though, because there is a little bit of a dance we need to do when we get balloons.  It involves trust and what seems a bit like loss of control.  If the boys let Brad and I tie the ribbon around their wrists, the potential for fun increases dramatically.  There have been a handful of times that one of our sons has refused to have his balloon tied to his wrist.  This usually leads to wailing and gnashing of teeth moments later when the balloon floats away to the clouds.  Usually that same son will be the first one to have his balloon tied to his wrist the next time balloons are around.  Sometimes, though, he'll still be afraid of losing his balloon so he'll hold the ribbon tightly anyway.  Or worse, he'll clutch it tightly to his body, which greatly decreases the fun potential.  This strategy can backfire instantly when the balloon pops under pressure.  Again with the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

If our boys trust us to tie their balloons to their wrists - and also trust that the knots we tie will hold - then they can fully enjoy their balloons.  They run freely across the yard and watch their balloon dance behind them.  The balloon can follow along on a bike ride or up the steps at the playground and zoom down the slide.  Sometimes they'll just sit and watch their balloon float lightly above them swaying in the breeze.  It is crazy how much delight this brings the boys.  Of course, when they are delighted so are we.  It might be as fun to watch them play as it is for them to actually play.

It starts with trust though.  And what feels a bit like loss of control.

Isn't that the way it is with us too?  When God gives us a gift, something He knows will bring us delight?  If we cling tightly to it and don't trust Him with it, we risk losing it immediately.  Sometimes we trust Him a little bit, we tell Him we trust Him but our actions don't send the same message.  We smother our gift for fear of losing it.  Or we hold it so close that we aren't really free to enjoy it.   But if we really trust Him?  If we allow both hands to be open and believe the way He gives it and the way He secures it is best?  Then we are wide open to delight, to run free and laugh and climb high and sit still.  Whatever we choose, if we have trusted Him freely, we are free to delight.  Not only does this bring delight to our Father, but those around us can't help but smile at the scene too.

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