After 18 hours of heavy rain, the sun that popped out from behind the clouds couldn’t have been more welcome, and my husband and I hurried into our shoes and headed out for a walk.
Our biggest hurdle was all the puddles on the sidewalks, and we often found ourselves going into the street to avoid getting our feet wet. Ahead of us was a grandpa out with his 3-year-old granddaughter on a tricycle. From a distance, we were amazed to see the little girl going back over and over a small section of her path. It wasn’t until we were closer that we saw she was purposefully riding through a large puddle. As we came abreast her, she got off her trike and began pushing it through the same puddle, stomping her booted feet with joy as the water drenched her pants, her shirt, even her hair…
We crossed to the other side of the street at this point. COVID-19 restriction dictated social distancing, for one thing; but in all reality, we really didn’t want to get in the spray of water droplets she was sending flying through the air!
Isn’t it funny that the one thing we were avoiding at all costs was the very thing that gave this child such delight?
It made me think about my relationship with God. God wants us to be “all-in” with Him!
What does that have to do with little girls and puddles?
When you think about being “all-in” with God, it sounds simple enough at face value. When you dig in a bit deeper, however, you begin to realize that being “all-in” for God can get a bit messy. It may mean you have to give of your hard-earned money that you had slated to buy a new car to help your neighbor who has nothing. It may mean that you are required to talk about God to people who might ridicule you. It may mean that you have to get up early in order to spend quiet time with God. It might mean you have to dedicate a portion of your day to intercessory prayer. It might mean giving an evening (or several) to leading small groups. It might mean that you have to sacrifice your own comfort to help others…
Suddenly it doesn’t sound so appealing, does it? And most of us find ourselves skirting those “puddles”!
That 3-year-old girl, however, saw the puddles we were trying to avoid as opportunities to experience joy. What if we, just for once, didn’t see those “puddles” as hurdles? What if we saw the as opportunities as well? Opportunities to experience God in a more intimate fashion? Opportunities to grow in our trust, to bask in His love, to experience His power? What if we were less afraid of the “water drops” of shame? Poverty? Stress? Sleep deprivation? Hunger? Humiliation? Instead of skirting these things, what if we were to dive into them with the enthusiasm of that 3-year-old girl in her water puddle?
If we did, then like the little girl, we would begin to fully experience the joy of the Lord. We would begin to delight in His presence, and we would begin to become what He wants for each of us: Effective witnesses dedicated to the Great Commission.
Is being “all-in” with God something we can just “opt” for? Or is it more?
Consider this passage from Romans 6: “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” (Romans 6:13 NIV)
Hum. This sounds more like a command than an option! A command that we know will… hurt!
But God never asks us to do anything without promising to be there with us at all times, to give us strength, to give us everything that we need: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19 NIV); and, “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8 NIV). Besides all of that, Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV).
Friends, when we give unconditionally to others for God, we will experience Him so fully that we won’t even realize we are sacrificing! It may be a hard thing to make the decision to get your feet wet; but oh, it is so well worth the challenge. Just ask that little girl!
Let’s pray: Lord, we want to be “all-in” with You… but we are afraid of the personal cost! We are afraid of the sacrifices that would require of us! Help us to remember that there is no fear in perfect love. Help us to love You and others with the same careless enthusiasm of that little girl on her trike! For only when we do will we be able to fully experience You, Your power, Your loving heart, Your miracles in our lives! In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.