Remember the monkey bars?
You can probably hear my guttural moan. I am no fan of monkey bars. Give me swings, a slide, or a merry-go-round, but please, let’s skip the monkey bars.
There was always the one kid who could sail across them with ease, channel their inner-monkey, and reach the other side triumphantly. Just to swing back and do it again. Show off!
Not me. Maybe it’s because as a little girl, I was a pretty-pretty princess and the monkey bars hurt my hands, made them smell of rusty metal, got me dirty, and well, were just plain hard to get across. Maybe it’s because I didn’t (still don’t) have an athletic cell in my body. Whatever my excuse, I maintain my right to despise the monkey bars.
So, you’re swinging, right? Hand over hand you are propelling your body, bar to bar. The end is in sight. Just a few more rungs on the horizontal ladder and you can pump your fist in the air and claim success.
If you’re like me, you start to grow weary about midway. Maybe a moment to stop and re-group would do the trick. Nope…you’ve lost all momentum now. You hang there, straining your grip. One hand slips and now you dangle by one arm, assessing the drop, considering the impact, looking around to see who will witness your defeat.
Enter in your hero. They wrap their hands around your waist and hoist you up – they bear your weight. Now you can busy those hands, reaching each rung with ease, while they do the heavy lifting, supporting and encouraging you. They escort you to the other side and while victory may not be as sweet, you survived to monkey bar another day. Why you would, is beyond me, but to each their own.
What monkey bars are you facing today?
Are you propelling yourself towards some destination, busily swinging from rung to rung, the world passing you by in a blur?
Are you determined – convinced – you can get to the other side if you just keep pushing, striving, straining?
Have you fallen before and you just can’t bear the shame of another drop?
Are you swatting away the kindness of a stranger, because you don’t need any help? You are independent, strong, and you can do it alone.
Are you dangling by one arm, praying for rescue, convinced if you fall – if you fail – you’ll be the laughing-stock of the playground?
Are you weary, worn out? Is your grip on the verge of slipping?
He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. Those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. (Isaiah 40:29, 31 AMP)
You don’t have to dangle. Your Heavenly Father is ready to bear your weight. He is waiting to wrap His arms around You, lift you up, and carry you to the other side. He is your Rescuer and Redeemer on the playground of this life. He is ready, at your call, to swoop in, smooth your strained brow, and ease your burden.
God never says we won’t grow weary. Throughout scripture He offers relief, because He knows we’ll need it. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. He brings rest. His grace is sufficient. His strength is perfect in our weakness.
We will grow weary, but we don’t have to stay that way. God says that when we have no might – zero, zilch, running on empty – He will fill us to overflowing. That’s not just an increase in strength, that’s an abundance. Some for now and a storehouse of reserve for tomorrow.
God tells us to look, to expect, to hope – to believe that He can exchange
our weary strength for His mighty power.
In His strength, we won’t be limping to the other side, deflated and wrung dry. We’ll be walking tall. We’ll be running and swinging with renewed momentum and power. We’ll get to where we’re going and we’ll pump our fists in victory!
So why are we going it alone? Why are we dangling by one arm in the middle of the monkey bars when God is willing to rescue us?
Pride, self-sufficiency, sin?
Doubt, worry, fear…that He won’t do what He’s promised? That your playground is the one that is just too big and wide for Him to scale?
It’s not. He can. He is able and willing. You’re playground ain’t got nothing on Him!
Watch. Look. Expect that He can do things that will blow your mind.
Maybe renewed strength comes with a supernatural dose of energy after a good night’s rest. Maybe hope and help comes through a friend who stops by with dinner or takes the kids for an hour. Maybe rescue comes through a check in the mail to cover a bill, a call from the doctor that the labs were okay, a promise or word at the exact moment you needed it. He is there.
Maybe you have worry, fear, anger, outright terror streaming through your veins. Maybe the enemy is whispering lies of defeat, clouding your mind with judgement and shame. Rise up, mount up close to God. He is there.
God will rally the troops on your behalf. His Spirit is working for you. His support does not just lift – it sustains. He is your covering – above, below, before, and behind. He’ll carry what you bring Him and He’ll keep carrying it – you can’t chase God away.
He is all around you, strengthening, moving, finely tuning the universe
to work all things together for good – for you.
Stop dangling, weary one. Defeat is not your birthright. You belong to a God of victory.
Rise. Run. Soar. Underneath are His everlasting arms.
He won’t drop you. You are getting to the other side.
All Sons & Daughters worship music has been the soundtrack of my life of late. This particular song is one that reminds me that God doesn’t let go of us – He sustains us in all things. He is all around us, for every moment. Sit back, be still, and let Christ Be All Around You.