Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wobbly Legs

Robbie Lee and I discovered an apple tree in the middle of this large field on one of our exploratory trips to the mountains of Virginia. We were driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and decided to stop and take in the view. There it was, a tree filled with delicious looking apples. We walked out into the field and soon discovered that all the good apples were way out of our reach. So I got the brilliant idea that Robbie Lee should get on my shoulders to grab a few for our trip back home. She reluctantly agreed. 

I squatted down on the ground and she climbed onto my shoulders, but with her added weight I could barely stand up again. So we decided to walk back up to the fence beside the road where she could climb up on my shoulders while I remained standing. It was sheer genius on my part. Robbie Lee jumped up on the fence and easily slid onto my shoulders. 

“Are you okay?” she asked since my knees were a bit wobbly. 

“I’m fine,” I reassured her. 

“Don’t you dare drop me,” Robbie Lee warned. 

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you,” I said with great confidence. 

The walk back down to the apple tree was on a slope, which added some degree of difficulty to our task, but that didn’t stop us. Yet as hard as I tried, by the time we made it halfway to the tree, my legs started to wobble even more.

Then it happened. I got a terrible case of the giggles. Before I knew it, my legs gave way, sending us both tumbling to the ground. There we were, lying in the middle of a field, roaring with laughter with our legs in the air. 

When we finally regained our composure we gave it another try, but the outcome was the same. My legs would start to wobble, I would get the giggles and down we would go. Several attempts were made, but with no success. We would barely make it away from the fence, most of the time, before collapsing on the ground in a big heap. 

“I give up,” I said, laughing. “I’m just not strong enough to carry you. As soon as my legs start to wobble I just lose control.” 

“Don’t give up,” replied Robbie Lee. “Let me have a try. I’ll carry you on my shoulders.” 

“You can’t carry me,” I scoffed. “I weigh more than you do. We’ll never make it.” 

“Come on,” said Robbie Lee, “let’s try it. I believe I can carry you better than you can carry me.” 

So once more we walked back to the fence; only this time I climbed onto Robbie Lee’s shoulders. As we started back down the slope I started to laugh again, but Robbie Lee held on tightly and her legs remained steady. This time we actually made it all the way to the apple tree. I couldn’t believe it. 

“You’re right,” I admitted, “you are stronger than me.” 

“Just grab some apples so we can get out of here before somebody comes to arrest us,” said Robbie Lee as she firmly gripped my legs.

I grabbed as many apples as I could carry. Then Robbie Lee carefully knelt down, allowing me to slide off her shoulders. 

“We did it!” I yelled to the big empty field. 

We danced around in the field for a spell, celebrating our victory before carrying our delicious treasures back to the car. That day is marked as one of my favorite memories from our many trips to the mountains. It still makes me laugh even now. 

Life can bring lots of laughs, but it can also bring tears, stress, pain and anger. Christians are not exempt us from life’s trials.

Jesus said in Luke 17:1, “Hard trials and temptations are bound to come, but too bad for whoever brings them on!” (The Message) 

He didn’t say “perhaps” trials would come or they would only come to unbelievers. He said they are “bound to come.”

God doesn’t desert us during these hard bumps in our lives. Often we blame Him for our misery and abandon our faith, believing God has broken a promise to give us a perfect life with no problems or cares. However, God never promised us a perfect, carefree life while we are here on earth. This is not heaven. This is not the place where we will never experience death or never get sick. The good news is this is only our temporary home while we wait for our eternal place in heaven. 

While we are here we need to make sure we stay on top of life and not let life get on top of us. The way to do that is to start with a solid foundation that will not fail you during times of trials.

Jesus spoke of just such a foundation in Luke 6:48, “He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” 

Are God’s words truly built into your life or are you building without a solid foundation, just going through the motions? When the trials come, will you find yourself standing on solid rock or on wobbly legs?

We have to make the choice to not allow life to collapse on top of us, leaving us in a big heap in the middle of an empty field. Make sure your foundation is solid. Instead of trying to carry everything on your own shoulders, climb up on His broad shoulders and let Him carry you down the slopes, through the good times and the bad. The weight of the world is far too heavy for us to carry. Besides, He is much stronger than you are. 

So climb on and let Him carry you for a change. Believe me, the view is much better from His shoulders. 

Excerpt from "Life is a Buffet So What's On Your Plate?" Copyright © 2009 by Polly D. Boyette "All Rights Reserved"

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