Gratitude Day 880

Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Sometimes, we just need a little extra push. A little something to get us over the hump. An extra dose of help to get through the challenge.

And it is amazing when it happens so simply!

Some days, I pick up our 4-year-old granddaughter from school. Quite often the first question she asks me is, “Where is Grandpa?”

Honestly? She’d rather Grandpa pick her up than me. And sometimes, he does! She calls Hubby Rick “the coolest Grandpa ever.” To her, he is. Seriously.

Yesterday’s after-school pick-up was typical. As we’re buckling her into the car seat, she wonders where Grandpa was. I thought he was at the farm mowing grass. “Let’s call him!” she says. So, we do.

No answer.

Immediately, “Let’s try again!”

Same response.

So, we visited the park. And the zoo. The otters are most interesting, although the goats nibbled at our granddaughter’s hands and licked her fingers. We checked out the same baby goslings that we saw earlier in the week. We picked a couple purple flowers, which got smashed. Then, it was time to see if Grandpa was still at the farm.

Yes, he was. Waiting for us, in fact. He had the Kubota (kind of like an ATV) ready for us to take a ride in the woods. The last two years, Hubby Rick has carved our trails around the pastures and through the woods. Great places for the kids (and adults) to go for a ride.

We took off. The 4-year-old loves to go fast, but also cautioned Grandpa to “be careful” when going down a steep incline. We went across rocks, logs, over bumpy ground.

It was great fun, with lots of laughs and sounds of glee.

Earlier, Grandpa had taken the Kubota along the same route, anticipating that he’d take us for a ride later. We had rain earlier this week. Some spots along the trail were slick and muddy. In his earlier ride, Rick didn’t quite make it up one hill and ended up turning around. As we got closer to this same spot, he pointed it out, as we went through a mud hole. Maybe Grandpa was anticipating this other slippery spot so much, he failed to realize that we were currently in a big mud hole.

Of course, we got stuck.

Grandpa tried to push us out. No luck. We rocked the Kubota back-and-forth but the wheels just spun. We put it in four-wheel drive and the tires continued to spin. We were in the middle of the woods, on a path that a skid steer or tractor could not easily access.

Things were not looking good.

So, Grandpa lifted our granddaughter onto his shoulders and we walked back to the farm. Rick’s son called him while we were on our way back to the farm, wondering why his dad had called him. The conclusion was that we would try to get it sorted out after he got home.

The irony was not lost on me that for years, Rick got his kids out of similar scraps. He has retrieved plenty of broken down vehicles, ones stuck in a field or had to fix something than someone else had broken. Now, he was the one waiting for help.

Rick’s son had a long day. His own truck problems and delays. And now? He’s dealing with a stuck Kubota; that his dad (and not one of the older kids) had gotten stuck.

As we trekked back to the woods, we saw the Kubota’s orange roof peeking over a ridge that went down into the mud hole. Rick’s son started up the Kubota, pushed on a lever and slowly climbed out of the mud hole. Dad, Dianne and the four-year-old were amazed.

How did it come out so quickly? There was a little lever near the floor that keeps 4-wheel-drive constantly applied, which allowed the spinning wheels additional traction to climb out. While Rick and I were trying to get it out, I saw the lever. Yes, I should have asked what it was for, but I didn’t. Next time, I will.  

Here’s what I realized as we all climbed back onto the Kubota and headed home: sometimes, we just need a little extra push. A little more traction to get us through something. Constant power, when applied, keeps things moving in the right direction.

Sometimes, we just need to ask for that little extra push, rather than trying to go it alone.

When do we need that extra push?

  • When life feels like a big mud puddle: gloppy, slimy and out-of-control
  • When we feel like we are going backwards more than forwards
  • When our prayers feel unanswered
  • When we are tired, beat up and done
  • When making one more decision feels too much
  • When we’re in the middle of a real crisis and not sure what to do next
  • When faith feels and seems a lot more difficult than it should be
  • When God doesn’t seem to be making God’s will very clear to us
  • When we feel someone has questioned our integrity, work ethic or values
  • Whatever feels more difficult than it should right now

After we got the Kubota out, Rick made a big deal to our granddaughter how great it was that her dad got us unstuck. He glowed about how helpful her dad was. He wanted her to know that her dad had fixed our problem. He had come to the rescue.

Sometimes, we need someone to come to our rescue. Other times? We are the rescuer. We need to be both: ready to help and ready to know when it is time to ask for a little push from someone else.

What will our granddaughter remember from today? She is only 4, so I’m not sure she will remember beyond tonight. But if I could choose something for her to remember? When something goes wrong, don’t give up. Grandpa and I didn’t get upset or angry. We didn’t get dismayed or flustered. Even if we weren’t sure what to do in the moment, we could figure it out. We tried to problem solve. We weren’t above asking for help. The best solution we came up with included getting a little push from someone else that could help us out of the muck and the mud.

Should I have asked about that little level on the floor before we left the Kubota stuck in the mud? Probably. It’s a little reminder that sometimes, I need to be more forthright in asking questions. On the flipside, we remembered how asking for help and being ready to assist someone else are all part of living a life of faith.

At the end of the day, no matter what is going on in your life, God is with you. When life dumps mud and muck in your life, hold steadfast. God is with you. When a solution feels a bit challenging, maybe someone else has a good idea. You are not alone and I pray this is the little message you will remember from this little story.

For God’s presence and helpers that come into my life, I am grateful.

Blessings –


P.S. – I was so focused on how we were going to get the Kubota out of the mud, not one single picture was taken. The memories are simply stored in our minds.

Holy God – When I get flustered or discouraged today, may I draw upon the strength that You are always with me. All. The. Time. Thank you for being the extra little push that I need and for bringing others into my life that also offer the push as well. Amen.  

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