My one-year-old daughter Corrie has only been walking for a few weeks, and she still prefers crawling. Walking is hard, and her little legs tire easily--I have to push her ever-so-gently to practice this new skill.
Yesterday as we left a store, I put her down on the sidewalk, took her hand, and coaxed her toward the car. Her steps were awkward and slow, and she wasn't particularly happy with me--but we still made progress.
After several yards we approached some steep stairs, and we saw them at the same time. Before I could reach down to lift her, she cried out in fear at this scary obstacle ahead, dropping to her bottom right on the sidewalk. I swooped her up into my arms and laughed as I kissed her head. "Silly girl," I whispered. "You know I'll carry you through the really hard parts. But sometimes you just have to walk."
Like a lightning bolt, the thought hit me: how many times has God whispered that same thought to me? I cry out in fear at the obstacle in front of me, and like a frightened toddler I want to stop walking and SIT right where I am. Just as I have to coax my daughter into strengthening her little legs, my Father has to push me to strengthen mine. When I'd rather sit, He sometimes pushes. But He never lets my legs give way--when the road gets too steep for me, He carries me and sets me down gently on the other side.
Certainly my steps aren't pretty. To Him I must look like a bumbling toddler much of the time. But just as I could never disdain my daughter's efforts, He will never disdain mine. He'll push, pull, coax and carry, but always we'll move forward. Together.
That's where the metaphor ends. The day will come when Corrie will let go of my hand and run ahead on her own. But not me. As I walk this journey of faith, my steps will hopefully strengthen, but He will never, NEVER let go of my hand.