When my daughter Bethany was a child, I received a handmade Father’s Day card from her. At the bottom of her note it said, “Thanks for helping me through the tough times.” I smiled wondering what “tough times” my seven-year-old daughter could possibly be talking about. But then I remembered that I had taken her hiking the weekend before. In the course of our exploring together several things had happened. While climbing down a ravine she had slipped and cut her knee. At the sight of blood she looked up waiting to take her cue from me. Instead of making over her, I acted unconcerned explaining that it happened to explorers all the time. She would be fine, so we had better clean it up and continue our hike.
THE TOUGH TIMES
In climbing some rocks, we came to a narrow crevice which was spanned by a fallen log. I walked across and turned back to Bethany who was staring at it with more than a bit of hesitation. Without giving her time to think, I held out my hand. If she trusted me she would take my hand and follow. She did. I praised her for her courage and trust.
Now I knew what the tough times were. From her limited experience she did not know if her cut knee was life-threatening or something to laugh at. The narrow crevice looked like an insurmountable obstacle until someone who had crossed it calmed her concerns. I realized that emotionally those obstacles were as big to her as some of my own fears were to me.
WILL I TRUST HIS LEAD?
But it also made me realize how God must view the things that I, from my limited experience, consider tough times. Through the incarnation, Jesus took on human flesh to lead the way. He experienced loneliness, rejection, and humiliation for the sake of righteousness and triumphed. For the joy set before Him he endured and overcame the challenges of being human and living in a broken world. Jesus crossed the chasm of death and returned. Will I trust His lead with childlike faith through my “tough times”?
He does not hold our fears in contempt, but He does extend His hand and confidently declare, “Follow Me.”