I have a memory of my father teaching me how to skate. He patiently knelt down in front of me on the bench to help me lace up my skates, and then led me by the hand as I penguin-stepped out to the ice. At first, I just walked on the ice. Dad let me hold on to the edge of the rink for a little while. Then he started to pull me along with him. I squawked indignantly. “Too fast, too fast!” I said.
Then he let go of my hand. I bent forward, arms flapping, trying to preserve a shred of balance so I wouldn’t fall on my face. I looked back at him in panic.
“It’s okay, you’re doing good. Keep going,” Dad said.
I would pay money to see the look I gave him in that moment.
My dad isn’t perfect. Our relationship has had its share of scrapes and bruises. But I cherish the memory of his love and faith in me for another reason, too: God loves us like this.
Sometimes He asks us to do things that scare us. We can’t always feel his warm arms around us. He lets go of our hand, and we panic. When this happens, He is asking us to be brave and to run ahead of Him. To use our gifts courageously. To talk to someone that needs encouragement. To comfort someone in pain. To start a project, even though we don’t know how it will turn out or what people will say. This blog is my leap of faith.
God will always stay within arm’s reach. He’s a good father. But, as He told me this morning, “Emily, you can’t do what I ask you to do if you stay curled up in my lap.”
God can also be pretty blunt.
Close your eyes and dream: what could you do if you knew that God believed in you?