Her eyes twinkled and an impish grin graced her face, but she wouldn’t budge from her spot on the top step.

“Come on, Sweetie,” I encouraged. “You can do it.”

It’s been a few months since I sold my little daycare, but last week I had the opportunity to watch “my” kiddos again for a day while the new owner attended to business out of town. The little tykes were happy to see me, and we had a great day together.

It’s amazing how much babies change in a few short months. Little Hannah (name changed) had grown quite independent in my absence.

Except for one thing.

She didn’t want to walk down the porch steps. The playground beckoned, and she was excited to be outside, but she stood glued to the top step. I took her hand and encouraged her to step down, but she just stood there smiling up at me.

I took a couple steps down, still grasping her hand. Still she stood her ground on the top step.

“Okay, how about I just carry you?” I opened my arms to her, and she immediately flung her arms wide. Within seconds, I’d deposited her safely on the ground, and she toddled off to play.

She was willing to go down the scary steps, just not by herself.

It reminds me of the words of Moses in Exodus 33. In this chapter, God talks with Moses face to face and assures him that His presence will go with him as he leads Israel towards the Promised Land. In verse 15, we see Moses’ response to God.

“And he (Moses) said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.”

In other words, “God, I’m willing to go, but only if You go with me.”

Like little Hannah, he was willing to go, but only if the hands of God were supporting him. It’s a wonderful attitude to embrace as we walk the hard and sometimes painful roads of life.

And here’s the great thing: God WANTS us to feel weak and insufficient without Him. He desires that we walk in His strength, not our own. We see this time and time again in the Israelite’s conquest of the Promised Land. God took their feeble army and made them a mighty fighting force, driving fear into the hearts of their enemies. He brought victory through His strength, not theirs.

In II Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul speaks of how he begged God to remove his weakness—his thorn in the flesh.

“And he (God) said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” {II Corinthians 12:9-10}

Not only did Paul come to accept his thorn in the flesh, he came to value it, for he realized God’s strength was made perfect in his own weakness. When we fully grasp the power of God, our own weakness will no longer worry us. In fact, it will excite us, because we will be eagerly anticipating the hand of God at work in our lives.

In closing, I’d like to share a short poem from my favorite devotional book, Streams in the Desert.

Be like a bird that, halting in its flight,

Rests on a bough too slight.

And feeling it give way beneath him sings,

Knowing he hath wings.

When you land upon a trial and feel the ground give way beneath you, rejoice.

For the hands of your Almighty God are already there, waiting to catch you.

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