I grew up on a dairy farm, and as a kid, we often had to go out and fix the fence that held the cows in. We used barbed wire – four strands attached to fence posts every few feet.
It wasn’t uncommon for Dad to ask us kids, “want to go fencing?” We were expected to say “yes,” and we always did.
Dad had an old manure spreader that he used strictly for fencing. It was a rusty old contraption that he pulled behind an old “Model A John Deere” tractor. The spreader contained rolls of wire, a wire stretcher, fencing staples, clips, posts, post-hole digger, and post maul.
Dad drove the tractor and us kids perched on the sides of the manure spreader, our bony little backsides bumping along as Dad drove over the rough ground.
When we got to a place that needed repair, Dad would pull over and us kids would pile out of the spreader to help. Sometimes we were replacing staples that had fallen out. Sometimes we had to splice wire or fix gates. Other times, we had to replace a post – one of my most vivid fencing memories.
Usually when Dad replaced a post, he used a metal one. Quite often, the metal was replacing a wood post that had rotted. My job was to hold the post while Dad pounded it in.
The posts were pretty tall and my Dad was pretty short, so he would stand in the spreader, one foot down in the spreader, and the other one up on the side. I would stand down on the ground, holding the post in position. The post maul was 20 pounds. Dad would swing it in a big arc, down, around, up over his head and then striking the post with a metallic ring. He would swing, and he would swing, and he would swing, the post inching down a little further into the ground with each strike.
I stood, a puny little kid, with a 20-pound hammer swinging right over my head. The post maul would hit that post and the reverberations traveled up my bony arms as I held on, keeping the post straight.
Was I scared? Well, maybe a little. If he missed, that 20 pound hammer would have come down on my puny little girl arms, probably shattering them. But he never missed. Never.
I could trust him. And trust him, I did.
It’s that same kind of child-like trust that God looks for in us – His children. “Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” [Matthew 18:2-4 NLT]
He craves that same kind of closeness and blind trust with us that a child has for his or her Daddy.
Now, as an adult, I don’t know if I could bear to watch a grown man swinging a 20-pound hammer over his kid’s head. I’d probably do some kind of intervention. But that kind of trust – the trust I had in my Dad when I was a child – is what our heavenly Father (Heavenly Daddy) wants from us.
Can we trust our Heavenly Father? Absolutely. Even when it feels like life is pounding us down, He’s right beside us, giving us strength, giving us peace, giving us hope.
Trusting Daddy is a good place to be.