July 6, 2013

“O Israel, trust in the Lord!  He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord!  He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!  He is their help and their shield.”  Psalm 115:9-11

Baby Toss

Baby Toss (Photo credit: Valdemarick)

Squeals of delight; shrieks of admonishment.  Most every father has heard both of these sounds at the same moment.

I do not know what possesses us fathers to throw our children but it must be written in our DNA.  Fathers have this strange obsession with making their progeny fly.  If it were not for the concerns of mothers and grandmothers, we probably would have made it into a sport.  I can just imagine the World Championships of the Baby Tossing.  It probably could be an Olympic event.

Like any good sport, there are some fundamentals to baby tossing that need to be mastered:

  1. The power for the toss comes from the lower body.  So, a good explosive movement from bent legs is essential.  A tosser might even exhibit a small hop when transferring his upward motion into the frame of the toddler.
  2. The release needs to be crisp.  Entanglement on a diaper or the clinging of small hand can send the tossee into the most irregular of patterns.  The energy is then wasted into flailing rather than soaring.
  3. While the soaring occurs, the tosser has to keep his eye on the child.  ADD dads might struggle at this stage but it is critical not to become distracted while the full delights of flight are expressed in wonderful squeals of youth.
  4. The most critical of all the baby tossing stages is the catch.  The arms should be extended high so the catch can be accomplished as early as possible.  This enables the speed of decent to be consumed into the arms and legs of the father as they bring their joyful child back to ground.
Baby Toss

Baby Toss (Photo credit: deltaMike)

The most important factor in baby tossing is trust.  The child must trust his father.  For the child to fly, he must trust that his father will not drop him.  Flying can be terrifying if you are afraid of being dropped.  There can be no delight in flying upwards when all you can think about is tumbling downwards.

Therefore, trust is the difference between experiencing delight or fear.

Trust is defined as an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.

The child who loves being tossed has an assured reliance on the character, ability,  and strength of his father.  He knows that he will be caught.  He can enjoy the flight because he is assured of the catch.  Mothers’ concerns arise because they do not have the same assured reliance in the father as their child.

The uncertainty of this world can often feel like being tossed in the air.  There are a variety of emotions that can be felt when we are tossed about but I have known very few who have described it as delightful.  I wonder if the reason we fail to enjoy the flight of a good toss comes from being so concerned with the catch.  Our unwillingness to being tossed into the unknown often has more to do with trust than prudence.

Happy Baby Toss

Happy Baby Toss (Photo credit: Kables)

Do you trust your Father in heaven?

Consider God’s character, his ability, his strength, his faithfulness.  We can be delighted in all of our circumstances because we have an assured reliance on being caught.  He is more than able to catch us.  He has the power to lift us high.  He has the ability to make us fly straight.  He will never take His eye off of us.  He is faithful to make everything work out for good – He promises to catch us.  Our problem is that we often don’t trust the promise.

We can soar through this world in the strength of the Spirit if we will just trust in our Father.  The difference between living in joyful delight or fear resides in trust; an assured reliance on the Father.

Who are you trusting?

PRAYER: Lord, open my eyes.  I know that I hedge.  I know that I can become so afraid of crashing that I never enjoy the delights of fully trusting in you.  Father, you are more than capable of catching me.  Lord, help me to trust You when I feel like I have been tossed high.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. Reblogged this on Kid's Ministry: God's Word in rich soil.

    • Thank you for the reblog and the words of encouragement.
      God Bless!

      • You are welcome.
        I did really enjoy it.

  2. Love it! Having three daughters I have spent many years tossing babies and little girls.
    Yes, the catch is critical. If done well and they trust you this is some kind of great fun for the kids and dads.
    I think it’s one of many easy things a dad can do to build a strong bond.

    The pool tossing is the best because you can really let it fly because you can make a little mistake on the catch and still escape the emergency room visit.
    great post.

    • @ ddclaywriter – I was reading your comment and was suddenly reminded of a child-tossing incident and a ceiling fan. My toss, not his dad’s. Lucky my son has a solid head. No emergency trip. Thanks for the happy memory…I am chuckling as I type this. 🙂

  3. Excellent!!

  4. Very thoughtful reflection. I was never into baby tossing, but when my daughter was in pre-school, I walked her to the bus stop at the front of our church. There was a cement wall maybe 10 feet high which she would jump off into my waiting arms ~ time and again until the bus arrived. A very fond father memory.

  5. Cute take

  6. I’m beginning to think you may be on to something here…Perhaps a father’s job is partly to let their children fly and learn to trust so they can later trust their Heavenly Father when they feel as if they are way out there with no where to turn but to Him. Good word.

  7. Reblogged this on One Starving Activist.

    • Thank you so much for the reblog.
      God Bless!

  8. Thanks for your reflections, JD. Some ‘Christian’ auhors these days overuse and overstretch analogies or completely mangle scripture to fit their analogy which they in turn have invented with to support their strange, whimisical self-created gospel. It is refreshing to read your writing as you do none of these things.

    I also like that you can see things we discover in our parenting experiences that help us understand God, I get glimpses of this every now and again, and though it is but a grain of sand compared to the grandness of God, it still is a glorious glimpse none the less. What an awesome God we serve!

    Our parenting experiences also test the limits of our civility at times, and can be very helpful in reminding us that we truly are fallen, sinful creatures who can do nothing without the saving grace of our dear Lord and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives!

    • Thank you very much for the encouragement and feedback. You have placed your finger on one of my concerns. I never want to go beyond the message of the scripture and read a meaning into the Word that was never intended.

      I agree completely on the lessons that we learn from parenting. I have cringed many times when I see an in appropriate response in my kids that mirrors my own response to my heavenly Father. I thought I was a very patient person until I had kids; continues to teach me that I have a long way to go.

      Thanks for your comments.
      God Bless!

  9. Great analogy!

  10. excellent words. I’m so glad I took the time to read this, it was what I needed today and blessed me.

  11. What a good word. I have been praying for God to give me the strength to walk out my calling, but fear of man and the desire to please people have kept me in chains for far too long. It is no wonder God sent me to Jeremiah chapter 1 to remind me that even with given a very difficult calling, like Jeremiahs, God promises to be with us to deliver us. Jeremiah was called to preach against sin, to declare the judgments of God against a rebellious nation, and to tell them of the hope of renewal and restoration that could be found if they would only repent and turn back to God. This is the message that the church in our nation, and the nation at large must be willing to receive. If not, we will come to the same end as did the kingdom of Judah, destruction, captivity, and exile.

    Thank you for your message about trusting God. I know that He has thrown me up into the air, but I must never forget that He has his arms outstretched ready to catch me at every moment.

    Keep your eyes on Him!

    Your brother in Christ,


    • Anthony – I am so very glad that this post was timely and used by God to encourage you. Your looking to Jeremiah is a wonderful example of being called into the difficult walk of ministry. I was just praying for God to give you the strength to respond to His leadings.
      God Bless!

  12. This is fantastic! I love the analogy. Yes, you are correct, it must be in a man’s DNA!

  13. I love the thought of God catching me in the nick of time.

    • Hey Daryl – It is a comforting thought God does not drop his children.
      God Bless!

  14. First lesson on Faith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: