One of the events our kids look forward to each summer is the thrill of watching the spray plane that flies low over our house as it applies chemicals to the fields surrounding our farm. As soon as the familiar roar of the airplane is heard, the back screen door bursts open and our children race out of the house to watch the excitement from the deck. From there they can tip their heads back and see the yellow belly of the plane as it barely misses the roof of our house, then dips behind the shed in the back yard and cruises to the other end of the field.
One evening, we were standing outside enjoying our own personal airshow when my husband, Tim, noticed that Corey was missing. Tyler and Amy were jumping around waving wildly at the pilot, Kobe was sticking close to Mama, his eyes open wide in amazement, but Corey was nowhere to be seen. Tim and I began calling for him and soon heard his little voice coming from inside the house.
“There he is,” Tim pointed towards Corey’s bedroom window where Corey was peeking out from behind the curtain. Not surprisingly, the loud roar and nearness of the spray plane had scared Corey and sent him running for the safety of the house. Try as we might, there was nothing we could say or do to coax Corey to come back outside with the rest of the family.
Since then, there is little we can do to convince Corey to go outside and play. He used to spend hours playing in the sandbox with Kobe, but not anymore! Corey now spends his time either playing in the house or standing with his face pressed against the screen door staring blankly into the backyard.
One day, my nephew had come over to visit and was looking forward to playing with Corey. Soon after his arrival, I saw Preston outside in the sandbox, happily pushing tractors and trucks along his newly created roads. Noticing Corey sitting on the porch, I went out to ask him why he wasn’t playing in the sandbox with Preston.
“I don’t want to,” was all I could get out of him for an excuse.
“Are you afraid of the spray plane?” I asked. He nodded, nervously searching the sky for the cause of his fears. We had been through this conversation often enough for me to know that telling him the spray plane had gone home for the night, was likely eating supper, and the mommy plane wouldn’t let him go outside anymore, wasn’t going to work.
“Get off the porch, Corey!” I keep telling him, “go out an play!” Yet, his perspective of the spray plane is different from mine. I know it’s nothing for him to fear, yet, in his eyes it’s pretty scary out there. It bothers me when I see my children losing out on simple joys in life because of their fears and anxieties.
As I was considering Corey’s situation, God spoke to my heart. “You’ve been there, too, Lynette. You keep wanting to come stay close to where you’re comfortable. You find it hard to venture out to where I’m calling you. The things that hold you back are like that spray plane. They look big to you, but I know it’s nothing to fear. Get off the porch, Lynette. There are so many wonderful things I want you to enjoy that you can’t experience from where you sit.”
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” I’ve known that verse for a long time, but usually with my focus on the first part - to trust. Corey’s fear of the airplane helped me understand the last part of this verse though. My understanding, my interpretation of certain situations, isn’t always right. If Corey would “lean on my understanding” about the spray plane, he wouldn’t be afraid.
We don’t always know how things will work out in life, but when we trust in the Lord, lean on Him, and get off the porch, He will take us out to where He wants us to experience the joy and happiness that we could only dream of before.
Today, I offered Corey my hand. “Come with me, son.” We walk towards the sandbox and play together a while. “I’ll be with you, Corey.”
I tip my head towards the sky, “Thank you, Jesus, for teaching me. When you see me sitting me on the porch, You are there. And You offer me Your hand, inviting me to trust You, to step out, so we can experience a life of joy together.”
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