Don’t Give Up
The other day, we were at a birthday party for one of Mason’s friends. At the party, there was a huge bouncy castle that was about probably between 20 and 30 feet long (I’m not great at estimating length). You climb in from one end and would then need to navigate your way through several ‘obstacles’ that lead you through the bouncy castle. Once you get past them, you are met by a mountain-ness (to a 3 year old) climb. If you can make the climb, you can take the fast and fun slide down! Isn’t that a lot of how life is?
Life consists of many twists, turns, mountains, and valleys. There are times when life is happening exactly like we want it to, or maybe even better. On the other hand, there are times in our life when we go through obstacles that can feel like unsurmountable mountains. After we manage to climb the obstacle that we find in our way, we feel happiness, excitement, relief, or closure, depending on the obstacle.
As I watched Mason try and problem-solve each obstacle, in a bouncy castle that was probably just barely built for someone his size, I found myself (like any parent) standing close by as he tried to navigate, I provided assistance when I felt that he actually needed it, and I was cheering him on as he solved each section. When he arrived at the ‘mountain-ness’ climb’, I wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to make it, or if he would even attempt it. (The last time he was in this bouncy castle, I had to climb in with him to physically help him up the slide)
Mason stood at the bottom of the obstacle, and momentarily looked at what was ahead of him, wondering if he should give it a try. ‘You can do it, Mason’, I shouted out to him. Several seconds passed and I started getting ready to make my move toward the entrance of the bouncy castle….and then turned, lifted his foot, and put it on the first rung. With that, he reached up and grabbed the rung above his head, and he pulled himself up while bringing his other foot up to the next rung above his first foot …he was off the ground. He slowly continued up, trying to navigate around the number of other kids that were faster and slower than him. Sometimes Mason would get hung up, losing a foot temporarily, or get cut off by a faster kid. But he pressed on and eventually made it to the top. I walked around to the bottom of the slide and looked up to see Mason, wearing one of the most triumphant smiles I’ve ever seen. Then, he jumped up, landed on his behind and came flying down the slide, laughing as he went. After that, every attempt through that bouncy castle got easier and easier for him.
I couldn’t help but think that this is how we are meant to handle our obstacles in life. We tackle them head-on, believing that God is watching over us and is there to help. He sees us through and gives us the strength we need. And as we go through life’s problems and make it to the end, we become stronger.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.“
Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
Remember that God is always with you as you suffer through life’s obstacles. When we trust in God, He will see us through, blessing us with the necessary perseverance and character to overcome it.
Don’t. Give. Up.