NET BREAKS

NET BREAKS
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Rewind to a piece of the past ...
Our kids are young and we're living on a beautiful farm in southwest Minnesota.
We purchase a large trampoline and station it in our backyard.
Our kids spend hours on it, discovering "air acrobatics" and limb coordination.
Indeed, I make myself a joint jumper, and spend hours on it and it proves a quick, worthy, and enjoyable investment.
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A special little friend of my daughter's comes to enjoy a weeked with us and is invited to the backyard while mom "Cathy" is barely out of the car.
We chuckle and visit a bit as moms and then head toward the bobbing "trampoline heads" at which time the fun comes to an abrupt halt.
The "look" on Cathy's face tells me all is not well.
Indeed, little "Jenny" is called with immediacy off the trampoline and I am given a sound reprimand that makes "this mom" feel the size of a pea,
"What are you thinking to allow the kids to play on a trampoline without the protection of a net?" she asks me.
No more monkeys jumping on the tramp "chant" comes to mind, but the moment is too serious to employ it and I determine that nothing shall separate my daughter from a weekend with a friend that she's been greatly anticipating. I reassure Cathy with all the tact and diplomacy I can muster that "trampoline jumping" will not be a part of the girls' weekend and Cathy reluctantly leaves little Jenny.
The weekend is greatly enjoyed by the girls but an awkward rift now stands between me and mom Cathy.
Hmmm ...
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Several weeks later we learn that little "Jenny" is gifted with a trampoline of her own, full net included.
You'll never guess what happens, dear reader:
Little Jenny somehow gets her arm caught in the net while she's jumping and manages to break it!
Seriously.
I've never heard of such a thing, but I will tell you that Cathy grew strangely quiet and sheepish around me at a "playdate" some weeks later when our daughters were, again, brought together. LIttle Jenny played with carefulnness and caution, with arm in cast and sling, and our little Hannah accommodated her beautifully at every turn.
No words were ever said about "the break" between Cathy and myself and it was just as well.
There was nothing to say and she felt foolish.
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Hmmm ...
God has ways of humbling each of us in needful seasons and arenas of our lives.
With too many "net breaks" of my own to count, I find myself of more gentle assistance to those who are experiencing breaks, falls, and failures of their own.
I become more and more convinced that God changes us more in the "net breaks" than the free jumping and in the tumbling, fumbling, humbling process, we are bettered, beautified, and changed.
God is good and God is faithful ... in the sling.
For lessons learned, and humility invoked in "net breaks,"
God be praised.
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"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time."
1 Peter 5:6