When was the last time you watched a trapeze act? It must be exhilarating to grip the bar, jump off the platform, swing down and then on the way up let go at the top and fly through the air. Thankfully a fellow trapeze artist is there at just the right time, grabs a hold and swings them to safety on the other side. I enjoy watching these acts most when there is a big net underneath, you know, just in case someone loses grip or doesn’t quite time things right. Then at least they will bounce safely at the bottom and nobody gets hurt.
I’m assuming these trapeze groups have relationships built on lots of trust. I bet the flyers really try to stay on the good side of the catchers, like baking them cookies, giving them foot rubs and the like.
It seems to me there are some very important truths about a good catcher: They must be strong, they must watch the flyer without distraction, they must have good timing, and they must jump out and swing toward the flyer at just the right moment to do their job and bring the flyer back with them. I read that sometimes the catcher says a reassuring, “Gotcha!” as they grab hold of the flyer.
You may have heard flying on a trapeze as an illustration of a life of faith in God. In that scenario, we who follow Jesus are flyers who let go in life and trust the catcher, God, to be there. They say the flyer shouldn’t try to “catch” the catcher, but just let go of the trapeze bar, hold their arms out straight, and wait for the catcher grab hold. Trust. Big time.
It’s like a child jumping from the side of a pool to their Daddy standing in the water, only bigger and scarier. I mean, I’m flying through the air here and once I let go, God needs to be there to catch me. I sure hope He’s paying attention! I don’t even know if there’s a net down below. Come to think of it, I’m not exactly sure where He will swing me to.
As I was talking with a fellow mom of adult kids recently, I realized that trusting God to watch over, guide and take care of my kids is like pushing them off the platform as flyers believing God will be there as their catcher when they need Him to be. I give a momentary gasp as they let go and start flying. “Okay, God! I’m over here trusting you to grab a hold of them and not let them fall. Not that I’m worried or anything.” Sometimes I watch hopefully. Sometimes I squeeze my eyes shut and grit my teeth. I’m still trusting though. Trying to, anyway. Each day, each moment is one in which I have to choose to trust and remember I have no control in these situations, but God does.
Now that my girls are grown and not living with me, all of this is even more “out of my reach” because this whole trapeze act is taking place elsewhere and I can’t even see or know what’s happening.
Fear is a powerful weapon of the enemy and he wields it all the time, especially against moms. And for some reason, he delights in launching fear attacks on me in the wee hours of the morning. It doesn’t happen quite as often as it used to, but sometimes when I wake around 2 or 3 am and go to the bathroom, I start thinking of one of my girls who is in a precarious situation, in some kind of distress needing God’s help and/or provision, and soon my mind starts racing through all sorts of possible scenarios, running toward worry, and I can’t get back to sleep. I lay there looking at the ceiling fan, praying and telling God, “I trust You. I let go again. I know I have no control but You do. I know you love my girl even more than I do. I know You speak to her heart just as clearly as You speak to mine. I know You have a plan and are working on her behalf. Forgive my worry, God.” I have prayed that so many times in the dark of night, trying to breathe slowly and crawl out from under the anxiety that is pressing down on me, twisting my stomach and making my heart pound. Any other moms out there feeling me?
My sister often says, and it’s wise, to stop focusing on what I FEEL and focus on what I KNOW. I try to step back from emotions, which are powerful, and remember what I know about God.
He’s THE best Catcher and here’s why:
- He is strong “O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O LORD? You are entirely faithful….Powerful is Your arm! Strong is Your hand!” Psalms 89:8,13
- He sees and knows where we are “You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight?” Psalms 139:3,7
- He is always watching & paying attention “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble…He who watches over you never slumbers or sleeps. The LORD himself watches over you!” Psalms 121:2-5
- He has good timing “For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.'” II Corinthians 6:2
- He will be there “I will never fail you. I will never abandon You.” (says God) Hebrews 13:5
- He will do his part and will catch us “God is not like people. He tells no lies. He is not like humans. He doesn’t change His mind. When He says something, He does it. When He makes a promise, He keeps it.” Numbers 23:19
There are so many other reasons why I can trust God to be the Catcher and when I start reading them again in His Word or thinking about the ways He has caught me or the ones I love in the past, my fear falls away and my confidence in Him rises up.
So to all my fellow flyers out there, don’t be afraid, whether you’re stepping off the platform yourself or watching someone you care about grab hold of the bar and jump. Rely on what you know about the Catcher. We can trust Him.
“I am the Lord, Your God. I’m holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41:13 CEV