One of my favorite memories of my oldest son was during one of the worst times in our life. I remember that we had to buy an old Mustang. I think we spent $500 at one of those car dealerships that you wondered if it was really a front for some other kind of devious activity, but we had no credit and we needed a car. I was teaching and we had a brand new baby. We were young and too far away from family. We turned to our church for our family. We are still eternally grateful for Dave and Honey, Molly, and Mendy, Pastor Mike, and Bob Bolton.
I am not sure how we got it. I think my parents gave it to our little boy for Christmas. It was a tiny plastic roller coaster-type toy that we put together in the hallway of our tiny apartment in Waco, Texas. It was made for 2-year-olds. We would put our son on this little yellow car and push him down the ten-foot track taking him through some tiny little ups and downs. It would go up and down and he would ride into our arms at the end. He loved it. He would do it over and over again laughing hysterically. I still remember it like it was nothing. It was so much fun and he would have a blast. He had no idea of what we were going through.
We had moved to Waco for Amy who had received scholarships to Baylor for voice. But her pregnancy was pretty rough and she had to stop going to classes. I was teaching making peanuts. My yearly salary was not nearly enough to pay our bills. Every month we got further and further behind. I was trying to earn an additional stipend as a football coach, but to do this, I was volunteering the same number of hours a fully-employed coach worked. And in Texas, football coaches work year-round. During the football season, you don’t get home before 10pm. Friday nights, we would stay all through the night watching film of the game we just played then meet the players on Saturday morning to get ready for the next week. Let’s just say I was never home and this was creating more stress. New baby. No money. A mounting pile of unpaid bills. Absent from home. Suffice it to say my wife and I were stressed. But Zach, our boy, was our joy.
From the time he was born, he just lived life. Especially as a little toddler, he just had fun all day and all night. He hated to sleep because he was afraid he was going to miss something. He had not a care in the world. And this bring me to our Verse of the Day:
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. (NIV)
In this analogy, there is no comparison to my state of mind and God’s state of mind. He is our Heavenly Father, but He has no stress. Nothing comes close to making Him sweat. His power is absolute and nothing happens but according to His purpose. The analogy I want to draw out is that of my toddler and you and me. We must become like little children so trusting that our Heavenly Father has everything under control that no matter what circumstances exist around us, we can still live, breathing in every moment, in wonder of every blessing, riding the roller-coaster of life knowing we are safe in our Lord’s hands.
Don’t let the difficulty of moments tempt you into thinking the pressure to care for your life is in your hands. The Lord has given us the ability to go to work, think creatively, go out and get things done, but in the end, He has accepted responsibility for our well-being and He will not fail. When we can acquiesce by faith, then and only then, we will live without stress, full of vitality, knowing He will take care of all of our needs. Come to Him as a child and enjoy the ride.