I love toddlers.
I know that sounds crazy, but really…they are so stinkin’ funny!
My precious babies aren’t little babies anymore. I type with a very full, yet sometimes sad heart, because my house is done with the cute toddler phase. My baby girl is three years old, going on thirteen. Lord, help me!
The best age, if you ask me, is somewhere between 13-18 months. This, my friend, is the golden age.
They are still fat and happy. Rolls on their legs, dimples in their elbows, and joyfully walking all bowlegged and crooked. I. Love. It.
They generally don’t throw fits yet.
They generally don’t talk back.
They still want to cuggle with you.
And best of all, they do tricks.
Much like having a performing monkey, you can, with practice, get them to do just about anything funny.
My kids were always a big hit at Cotton Patch Café. The servers knew us and loved us. Nana and Grandpa would take us to eat there about once a week while my kids were in the ‘golden age’. Upon entering the restaurant, the servers would scramble around telling each other, “Hey, look! There’s that kid who does_________! It’s funny! Come watch!”
With Jacob, his famous trick was to “do his muscles”. It was hilarious.
I mean, c’mon, you have to admit, that is pretty funny.
Upon command, my sweet red-headed 13-month-old would become completely fierce and serious about flexing every single muscle in his body. It was cute. It was intense. It was focused. Much like our sweet Jacob.
With Benjamin, he was famous for “the look”. Our smiley, chunky baby would immediately respond when we’d say, “Benjamin….give ’em the look!” Way. Too. Cute.
Ironic that this little one would do a trick that made him look fierce and mad…because he is neither. He is our joy boy. He is sensitive and precious, kind-hearted and happy. But, “the look” was pretty dang funny. Oh, how I miss those cheeks!
Then, there was sister friend. In true Abigail fashion, she loved all the tricks. She was more shy in Cotton Patch, but at home, she rocked every trick in the book…especially the “muscles”.
Although, the most popular one with all three kids at this adorable age was probably the same trick that toddlers are doing everywhere.
Each of my completely different and yet completely the same little babies looooved telling me how big they were. When asked this infamous question…each of them would throw their arms up in the air immediately, almost as a Pavlov’s response, and show me just how big they were!
“How big is Jacob?”
“How big is Benjamin?”
“How big is Abigail?”
This one is a crowd pleaser and even more so, a toddler pleaser. They just love braggin’ about how big they are.
Adults are pretty much the same way, aren’t we?
Perhaps we don’t throw our hands up in the air anymore, although some of us may. But, we think that way.
Fear creeps up.
And what do we do?
We convince ourselves we are Sooo BIG!
My friend, I have had some pretty low moments these last few years.
I have walked through medical drama and great physical pain. Fear and anxiety have gripped me so tightly I could. not. take. one. breath. I have faced darkness. Depression. Even the very real fear of death. And I type to you now, in full disclosure…to confess that I tried to throw up my hands and convince myself I was Soo BIG!
But. I. Was. Not.
My wonderful pastor has said a comment numerous times in the nine years of our time at my church …yet each time it strikes me to the core – every – single – time.
“The good news is…that you can have all of God that you want! The bad news is…that right now, you have about all of God that you want.”
So, my friend…I ask you the same question I’ve asked myself countless times…
How BIG is your God?
Is He Sooo BIG!?!
Or, are you?
Is your God bigger than debt?
Friend, is He bigger than a superficial Christian life?!?
If you love the God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…if you have accepted Him as your personal Savior…then the answer is 110%, absolutely, positively, emphatically – YES!
IF. You. Will. Let. Him. Be.
Ifs don’t get bigger than that, my friend.
I do not speak out of the knowledge of my brain. I speak out of the wisdom of my life. Not a wisdom that puts me above you. Don’t hear me wrong, friend. Wisdom is simply knowledge put into practical and prayerful use.
I “knew” God was big. He commands the lightning. He parted waters. He raised the dead. And so on and so forth. That is big. I “knew” that in my head.
But, now, I know, that I know, that I know HE IS BIG…and even better, that I am so very, very small.
He has proven Himself bigger than my fears.
My great and repetitive sin.
HE. IS. BIG.
Even on those days and weeks and months when I don’t live like I know that, He was still BIG. My acceptance (or not!) of it, does not determine it.
I have friends right now who are seeing His faithful BIG-ness. They have stepped out in faith to give God their debt, their home life, their future. They heard His command for their family and, at first, they didn’t follow it. They doubted. The struggles they faced seemed BIGger than their God. But, now. Oh, now things are different. Right now, as I type this, they are basking in His BIG-ness. They decided to obey. They followed His very clear, yet very scary plan for their family…and God has done nothing but show off His BIGness to them. On this very night, they rest in the security of their BIG God and their small selves.
And yet, still, right now, I have family members, people I love dearly, who cannot get joy from this life any easier than they can get eggs from a cow. They try and they try with all of their might. All of their reasoning. All of their rationalizing. But, the BIGger their problem, the smaller God seems, because they won’t simply give Him their depression. Their past. Their expectations. They’ve been burned again and again and they have now dug their heels in and decided not to let the fire come near them again. The problem with that is, that sure, they’ve helped ensure they won’t get singed, but they also won’t get warm.
So, what is your ‘thing’? That area, or if you’re like me, areas, that seem too BIG for God? Hear me…
MY God is BIGger than ALL of it.
He can handle it.
I do not claim that you will be healthy, wealthy and wise if you trust Him. But, you will have Him. If you give your seemingly BIG thing to Him…He will line it up against Himself and show you what BIG really looks like.
Trust Him, friend, not only when you are healthy, wealthy and wise…but when you are sick, poor, and dumb.
Mostly – GIVE IT ALL TO HIM.
I beg you.
Will you trust Him with _______________? Whatever seems BIG to you…will you trust Him?
Throw your hands up in the air, drop to your knees and answer me now…
“How BIG is my God?”
Amen and amen.