I give my dad the credit for my fetish with the pigskin. He loved the game and began teaching me about it before I could even walk. To make watching the games more fun, we pulled against each other. He always let me choose first for the team I wanted to win. I chose my team according to the color of their uniforms. Hey, that's what preschoolers do. And it must have been a skilled strategy, because dad said my team won most of the time. Genius, don't you think?
I miss my dad and our TV game days together. I miss the halftimes where we would go outside and throw the football to each other.
I. Miss. My. Dad.
Not only does my dad receive the credit for my pigskin fetish, but I also attribute my ability to trust to him as well.
One of the first ways my dad taught me to trust was teaching me not to fear water. At 7 or 8 months old, he had me swimming off the palm of his hand into Lake Murray where my family spent much of our free time.
Continuing my lessons on trust, as a toddler, my dad would hold me up in the air by my ankles, tell me not to bend my knees, and I could stand up there forever. Because I trusted him, I never thought about falling. Learning to trust my dad was helping me learn how to trust my heavenly Father as well.
As I grew older, I trusted my dad to teach me to water ski. I was skiing by age 5, and slaloming (skiing on one ski) by age 8. I would listen to his instructions intently, as he shouted them over the sound of the boat motor, and then I did exactly what he told me. As the boat took off, I got straight up. He would pull me all over the lake, under bridges, around in circles, and to bring me back in for a smooth landing.
Did I ever fall? Sure, many times. But, I always got back in the water, returned to my place of trust, put on my game face, and began again; all because I knew my dad was there.
I know that trusting my dad led me to an early trusting in Jesus. For that, I am forever grateful. I solidified my belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior the summer before I entered first grade, and I was baptized later that summer. Trusting Jesus has always come easy for me.
Do I ever sin, fall short in my faith, or doubt my Lord? Of course. But I repent, allow Jesus to help me up, dust me off, and put me back in the game. I know in Whom I trust. Jesus is always there for me and will never leave me.
Making the decision to trust in Christ is intentionally choosing to believe and trust in the Savior who loves us unconditionally and is always there. The Savior who will never leave us or forsake us. It's being grounded in faith, putting down roots, and then allowing them to grow deep and strong through the pitfalls and failures in life. I guess I was called for Intentional Grounding early in the game of life. Undisputedly, it was a good call.
...but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
1 Peter 3:15 NASB
I have sanctified (set apart) Christ as Lord in my heart. I am always ready to make a defense to any and everyone who asks me to give an account for the hope that is in me. I pray I always deliver that account with gentleness and reverence, just like I watched my dad do many, many, times.
I'm very aware that there are those who struggle with a simple faith that I hope in so easily. There are a myriad of reasons for their cautiousness and timidness to step all in and just believe. We have to be patient with those who struggle with trust. But for me, my soul's rest is in Jesus Christ, Who not only paid the debt for my sin, but Who also rescued me from the power of sin when He died on the cross. I daily confess with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Son of the living God, the resurrected King of kings and Lord of Lords.
He died for me. He died for you. He loves us so much that He took our place, our punishment. We can trust Him because of His unconditional love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. He understands us. He's patient, long-suffering, and is pulling for all to answer His call for Intentional Grounding.
...who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, (2 Timothy 1:9 NASB)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NASB)