“Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7).
I sat on bleachers among a small cheerleading section of moms at the gymnastics center. My eyes shot from one end of the room to the other, first to the balance beam, where my six-year-old spread her arms like wings and stepped gingerly on pointed toes, then to the tumbling mat, where my three-year-old rolled somersaults and sprung to her feet with happy hands in the air.
When the summer gymnastics schedule came out last spring and I discovered both girls could take a class at the same time, I thought, great! Beginner Girls for one, Tumble Stars for the other—and I’ll get to sit back and watch. Perfect.
Except I don’t have enough eyeballs in my head.
The action at gymnastics is simultaneous. One daughter prepares her dismount from the parallel bars while the other takes her turn leaping into the foam pit. I spend the hour mad-dashing my attention from favorite child to favorite child, trying to catch each daughter’s highlights and applaud their courage. But, inevitably, I miss something. And then I hear about it on the drive home.
“Mom, you watched her more than me!” My six-year-old complained from the back seat.
“I did not, I watched you both equally.”
“But you didn’t see my cartwheel! It was the best one I’ve ever done in my whole life!”
“Lovey,” I glanced at my firstborn in the rear-view mirror, “I watch you practice cartwheels every day, and I saw plenty of excellent cartwheels this morning in class. I’m very proud of you.”
“But I looked at you after my best cartwheel and you were watching the tumblers.”
“I’m sorry, sweetheart,” I sighed. “I can’t see everything. I love you and I want to watch you. I also love your sister and I need to watch her, too. I was cheering for both of you. I promise.”
Ugh. Only two kids to my name, and I struggle to keep track. Then I wonder—how does God do it? There are millions of us, his beloved children, and we’re not conveniently confined to one gymnasium. We’re everywhere.
Does he really notice me?
“I look up to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. He is the Maker of heaven and earth. He won’t let your foot slip. He who watches over you won’t get tired. In fact, he who watches over Israel won’t get tired or go to sleep. The Lord watches over you. The Lord is like a shade tree at your right hand. The sun won’t harm you during the day. The moon won’t harm you during the night. The Lord will keep you from every kind of harm. He will watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your life no matter where you go, both now and forever,” (Psalm 121, NIRV).
Last week I had one of those days—when stress bubbled over and I doubted if God cared. Surely my whining wasn’t nearly as important as a universe full of “real” problems, right?
Not exactly. God does care. He does hear. Big or small, he wants us to share every trouble with him. I shouldn’t be satisfied grumbling only to my husband or stepping over heaven’s timing by trying to fix the issue myself. We all know how well that usually turns out, anyway.
When we want God’s attention, all we need to do is look up to the hills, where our help comes from.
So I exhaled and prayed. I spoke silently to God while I chopped broccoli for dinner and again when I scrubbed pots. I spent an evening tossing all my worries on the Lord. Then a strange peace settled over me, and I knew God heard my plea.
I can’t fathom it. So many people vying for God’s concern, and somehow he is available to each of us, all the time. His eyes are everywhere.
I wish I could say the same for mine. When we got home from gymnastics, I opened the door to the back yard and nudged my daughters out.
“Show me your best moves, girls. Cartwheels, somersaults, hand stands, I want to see all of it.”
“Yay!” They squealed and ran for the grass.
“Just one condition,” I held up my hand. “Please—take turns. Mom only has two eyeballs. And I don’t want to miss a thing.”