Wednesday, July 20, 2011
When my daughter was very little, her mother and I used to go with walks with her. Often, when we came to a curb alongside the road, I would lift Rachel up and set her on the curb so she could balance on it and walk along it with us. At first, she was afraid because it was high and something new. I would hold her close and tell her that I loved her and wouldn't let her fall. She would smile at me, take my hand, and off we would go.
After awhile, I thought she should be stepping onto the curb all by herself. So when we got near to the curb, I began to encourage her to step up on the curb. She was afraid, and again, I bent down, took her in my arms and told her that I loved her and wouldn’t let her fall. She gave me that same grin, and off we would go.
This went on for several months until Rachel was not only stepping onto the curb all by herself, she was continuing to go up higher and higher as the curbs turned into planters and the planters turned into walls and fences. At each step of advancement and several times during each outing, however, I continued to encourage her, telling her that I loved her and wouldn't let her fall.
From my perspective, helping her to walk along the curbs was a pretty simple task. She only weighed 30 pounds when we began, and even when she no longer needed me to help her, she was still pretty easy to help, had she needed me. From her perspective, however, this was all very different. To her, the curbs were huge, overwhelming, dangerous, and very scary. On her own, she would never have even considered stepping up on that first curb. She was content to let it be “over there” and her “over here.”
But I had lifted her up and asked her to walk. Now she had a pretty amazing decision to make. “In the light of the possible danger, do I trust my father to keep me from harm? Or do I trust my instincts and go my own way?” I suppose, because I was close and had always taken care of her before, she always chose to trust me and walk.
It is interesting to note that every time we came to that curb and I lifted her up, Rachel had to remake that same initial choice, “Trust what might happen? Or trust Papa?” And each time she trusted me, and didn’t fall, her faith in me grew, and it became easier and easier to believe that I did love her and would not let her fall. Her faith in me grew.
But then the next level came. She had just gotten used to being lifted up and put on the curb, now she was being asked to step up all by herself. This was the same choice all over again. But now there is a new element to the event. “Now I have to stand on one foot and balance all by myself until I can get my other foot up there.” And then the next challenge: the planter is higher than the curb. If I fall off that, I could really be hurt. What if my father doesn’t really love me or can’t keep me from falling?” Again, the question is: does Rachel trust me to keep her from falling? Do I really love her that much? Am I able to keep her from falling? Does she trust me to protect her as much as she trusts the evils that might be there if I can’t help her?
What kinds of situations do you find yourself in? What areas of life is our loving, trustworthy Father asking you to trust him in? What curbs has he lifted you up and placed you on? What curb is he asking you to step up on and continue to walk on with him? Does the possibility of falling seem too great? Is God big enough, does he care enough, is he able to keep you from falling?
We are all like Rachel when she was little, being asked to walk on the curb. Even Rachel, who is almost seventeen now, is like Rachel when she was little. God is asking us to trust him. He has told us over and over and over that he loves us and won’t let us fall. We’ve seen him and his faithfulness for thousands of years and in the lives of millions of people. God loves you and won’t let you fall. Believe him, have faith in him, trust him.