If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;
he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
It happened at the soccer field.
8 of 8 took his first steps yesterday.
The twins are 16 months old and have been walking on their knees for months...on their knees. It's the only characteristic they seem to have in common. We have been thrilled that 8 of 8 was waiting to walk-we have wanted his twin sister to stay crawling as long as possible to continue to strengthen her arms and encourage that all important cross-crawl pattern. 8 of 8 staying on the floor and demonstrating the perfect baby crawl has been a good thing for 7 of 8 to see.
But the longer the knee-walking thing continued, we began to wonder a little about 8 of 8. Given that his twin sister is needing physical and occupational therapy, we were beginning to consider having him evaluated. Had we overlooked a need he might have while focused on the more obvious developmental needs of his twin? Had we been carrying him around too much? Was there a problem with his calves, with his feet?
We started a few days ago walking up and down the halls with 8, allowing him to hold onto one of our hands. We would go for few laps. We then let him only hang on to one finger. And then yesterday, letting him make a few toddles around the soccer field, I subtly pulled away. And he walked alone.
We cheered. We clapped. We praised him, we loved on him. He took some more steps. I set him back up, held on to the back of his little overalls, got his locomotion under way...and then let go again. And he walked a few more paces. And by the time he got up from his afternoon nap, he was a walker transformed.
The greater the delight we show in 8's toddling, the firmer his steps become. Up until now, he has balked at walking. He had figured out his own system for getting around, was perfectly happy to stay on the ground, checking out the carpet and eating crumbs. But now he has new vistas, can go faster, will go farther, with hands available for more than just holding up his own weight.
Sometimes I have felt that I was a late-walker for the Lord. His pushing and prodding for greater development have too often been met with my insistence I'd rather just crawl on through, thank you. His insistence that I could do more, go further, walk in power has been hard for me to believe at times. And His requests that I stop using my hands to crawl and free them up to serve has at times seemed just too hard.
But He takes me by the hand. He pulls me to my feet. He takes me on gentle laps around the same track, teaching me to walk through issues instead of shuffle in the same circle on my knees. He begins to remove the props of stability and security, teaching me that trusting Him is enough. And I hear His delight, I hear His encouragement, when I toddle into the halls of grace and tentatively place my feet. And He promises me He will not let me stumble.