Walking and Leaping and Praising God
The kiddos went to Rolling Hills Bible Camp a couple of weeks ago, a family tradition that started when I first went almost thirty years ago. They love it, all the classes, games, Bible stories– they have sang those camp songs all day every day ever since.
Yesterday, we went hiking on a four-mile loop. Not terribly strenuous, but there were a few places where the trail narrowed next to a steep drop.
My five-year-old did great going up. She barely flinched at the inclines and trudged to the top like a trooper. Coming down, however, she trembled, balked, and sat down to scoot along the trail.
Everyone else walked ahead and I eased her down, baby step by baby step. After a while, I figured out the key to easing her fear–we sang.
The transformation was amazing. She sang this little song about Peter and John praying and meeting up with the man asking for alms. “They were walking and leaping and praising God…” and suddenly she was skipping down the trail and not even looking over the edge.
We made great progress until we turned a corner and she had to pay attention to her steps. The singing stopped, she peered over the edge of the hill, and latched onto my legs.
Trees had spilled from a recent storm, and the area was covered in weeds. She eased down my legs and picked up a rock from the trail, then threw it as far as she could. And cried.
I did all I knew to do. I picked her up and started singing again, and within minutes, she was bouncing along the trail.
The experience reminded me of Psalm 56:3-4
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Hopefully this experience will solidify that concept in her little heart. Praise is the cure for fear.