Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion for April 13, 2016

Greetings!!

My daughter and I decided to go to a continuing education event.  It was a short event, just one evening and the following day but the subject was interesting to us and we have always enjoyed learning.  This event was close enough for us to go and not have to travel very far and was fairly inexpensive so it pretty well met all the criteria we needed to decide to go to an opportunity like this.  So we signed up and we looked forward to when the day will come when we would head off for our learning adventure.
But then the light bulb went off over both of our heads at the same time - there was this small child that was a sticking point in our attending the classes.  What would we do with the daughter/granddaughter while her Mom and I were off galavanting in academia.  We looked at the calendar and her father was working so he was not an option for child care.  Her grandfather offered to watch her and so we sighed a big sigh and said, “problem solved” and on with our life we went not thinking much more about the event which was about a month away.
But then the snag hit and grandfather wasn’t going to be able to come and watch the aforementioned child/grandchild and so her Mom and I were back to square one.  Of course by now we are really excited about going to this conference and went back to the drawing board to decide what to do about our little stumbling block - otherwise known as ‘the child’.
After much consideration, the consensus was that we just take her with us.  She was small, she was relatively good (or as good as a 15 month old can be!) and we thought we could pull it off.  So packing day came for our odyssey and we packed ourselves and we packed for the small child (whose stuff was more than our two stuffs put together…..) and off we went to learn more and to see what class with a toddler might be like - crossing our fingers that she wouldn’t be too much of a distraction.
All was going well after we arrived and she was doing as well as could be expected for one so young cooped up in a classroom with a bunch of stodgy adults.  So for a while I decided to take her to the lobby of the hotel and let her burn off some energy.  We walked around for a while and she crawled around for a while and we cruised the edges of the couches and the tables, we climbed under chairs - fun times!  And I pretty much let her do what she wanted as long as she wasn’t actively destroying something or putting herself in danger - but grandma was always within quick saving reach.
She then decided that she wanted to play on the steps and I knew that she was pretty good with steps - she has the crawling down backward step descending method pretty down pat.  So we began to work the stairs - she would crawl up the stairs, crawl down the hallway at the top of the stairs for a little while then crawl back to the stairs and backwards crawl to the bottom of the steps and then back up we would go.  It is amazing how many times in a row a toddler can repeat the same action!
She was doing a great job but I, as the dutiful grandmother, also knew that the stars were just high enough that a tumble down could be a bit dangerous and could result in some type of injury.  However, stairs are one of those necessary skills we all need to learn so I also knew she needed the practice.  
Long story short, we continued to practice stair skills but I was right there with her each ‘step’ of the way.  I didn’t hold her or even tell her to be careful, I just walked along side her, often with my open hand held behind her just incase there was a quicker than I could really react falling.
Regardless of her doing the stairs correctly or her miscalculating and ending up falling, I was ready to snatch her at a moments notice.  I’m sure as others looked on we were quite the pair - the ambivalent toddler who never thought of anything bad happening as she climbed and unclimbed the stairs without a care and the doting grandma hovering over the act of this young child.
I often picture God like this hovering grandmother.  God is very good at letting us go our own way.  God is very good at letting us make our own choices.  God is very good at letting us put ourselves in harms way…… But don’t you see God, right beside of us all the time, a little bent over towards us so he can react quickly, with his hand held close to our backs to he can catch us in a moment’s notice?
God has always promised to love us and protect us and never forsake us.  God is always there and always will be.  God is always ready to react when we need him - and maybe even when we think we don’t need him.  God’s love and care has no bounds - like a grandmother and a small child.  

Amen                                                                             
 Joanne