Fair Warning

Summertime is here! I’m not the biggest fan of summer. Hot weather and I are not the best of friends and the last week or two it has been HOT! With three small kiddos at home, my wife and I have been getting a lot of pool time lately to beat the heat! One of our favorite spots is the new YMCA water park/splash pad area. It has a lot for the varying ages of our kids: a small water table for our youngest and a big splash area with slides, water shooters, and a big dump bucket.

We were just there the other day when my middle child went down the slide. It took him to the other side of where I was standing and as he came around, he stopped right in the spot where the big water bucket was about to dump. (FYI, my kids do not love surprise water dumped on their heads.) As I stood there, I began to shout for Judah to look up. He was distracted by something, couldn’t hear me clearly with all the noise, and was having too much fun splashing around. Pretty soon the bucket tipped, the water came splashing down, and a few sputtery cries were exclaimed before he made it over to where I was. Through some tears I wiped his face off. He was perfectly fine of course and jumped right back into playing. Avoiding that same path near the dump bucket for the rest of our time there.

As I watched all of that happen, I couldn’t help in that moment but think of the Heavenly Father. I imagined the way He sees us just swimming along, in our own worlds. Sometimes we’re unaware of the things heading for us that He knows will not be enjoyable. He calls out to warn us, but often we are so focused on where we’re at, we’re not looking ahead to follow His voice. And sometimes the bucket just dumps on top of us. It’s hard and painful, but it’s not the end.

All the while, He leads us through those things and holds us in His arms as we cry out from the fear and turmoil we just experienced. He wipes our eyes, reminds us of what went wrong and explains to us how to avoid that pain the next time.

One of my volunteers shared these scriptures on Sunday with our students:

 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” 
Proverbs 16:9

 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

The Lord has been encouraging me lately to not plan my own path in life. To seek Him first in all things and follow His ways. I’d encourage you, when we walk with Jesus it does not mean there won’t be dark moments, but the Bible does promise that the one who holds all things will be with us as we walk through those things. I pray you are seeking Him in your plans and hopes for the days and years to come.

Ben Griffis