The gray paint on the press box was peeling in places. It had a few air bubbles as well that are often the result of humidity but, in this case, were more likely the result of continued subjection to Oklahoma summers – an indication of the heat’s daily brutality.
The press box was made of cement and therefore, not entirely smooth. The gray paint showed these small craters and showed off the unevenness of the structure in a way that perhaps a darker paint might have masked.
I didn’t mind. In fact, I suppose I was grateful. Being able to see the nooks and crannies, the globs of extra paint, the bubbles – they were most helpful when I found myself needing to intently focus on that very press box.
I didn’t find myself in that situation very often, in fact, I avoided it if I could. However, due to effective coaching, every girl on our cheerleading squad had the opportunity to “fly” at least once. And, as every flyer worth her salt knows, if you look down, you come down. So, you keep your chin up, your shoulders back, your head held high, and in my case, you stare intently and deliberately at the press box.
You clinch your fists, you lock your legs and you stare at painted cement while your very foundation adjusts itself. You learn to counteract the movements of your bases to the best of your ability. If your toes start to dip, you naturally lean back. If your heels start to drop you attempt to rise onto tip-toe and feel the burn in the arch of your feet.
While falling always occurs, you find yourself meeting the same odds, in the same position over and over again – feet apart, shoulders back, chin up, eyes focused.
I’ve lately found myself in that stance as an adult. No one is attempting to lift me over their head anymore (glory to God!), but I am mentally clinching my fists, locking my legs, throwing my shoulders back and praying that the very ground beneath me doesn’t fall out from under me.
I recently moved to D.C. for a job and I give God full praise for that. I love my job. I love it because it was not only an answer to my prayers, but it is the right step on a long road I hope to call my career. I. AM. GRATEFUL.
However, in spite of my gratefulness, I won’t deny that the last seven months have been a little overwhelming. For a myriad of reasons, I’ve felt that I’m missing things – that I’m grasping for permanence and validation in places I previously felt secure.
Feeling discretely anxious for weeks, you can imagine my relief in having my first “aha” moment with God at a church in D.C. The preacher, Mark Batterson, stated “your problems may be over your head, but they’re already under God’s feet.”
Wow. Just, WOW! How comforting is that?!
The things that overwhelm me, the things that make me dodge, dip and roll to try to regain my footage, the things that seem will inevitably bring me crashing to the ground ARE UNDER HIS FEET.
Guys and gals, God is that good and he loves us that much. We don’t face these problems alone. We face them with him and with the knowledge that he is our foundation – he won’t let us fall.
With that knowledge, God has become my press box. When I feel the world is spinning too quickly and I begin to fear the fall, I set my feet apart, shoulders back, chin up and then I focus my eyes on his. I stare into the eyes of the one who knows my problems, who knows the answers and who can still the gale force winds in which I’m trying to stand. I try to stare with the same deliberateness with which I once focused on gray paint. I want to see into the very depths of my Savior and in doing that, I find that my heart beat slows, my fists unclench and a calm that can only come from Christ surrounds me.
I like to think that in those moments, the moments where I stand boldly in the presence of my savior, that we have a small audience. I believe that Satan recognizes that defiant stance and watches from afar – he knows when we’re beaten down and he definitely knows when are standing back up. To that regard, Satan should take note because when people realize they can’t fall, they lose all fear…
…and fearless people can do very powerful things.
“Do not rejoice over me my enemy, for when I fall, I will arise, and when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.” Micah 7:8
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