Roy watched with silent pride as his little boy climbed and conquered every object that could be climbed in the house. Josh was at that stage of development when a child climbs or pushes whatever gets in his/her way.
With each conquered countertop or sofa, Josh’s father would clap and cheer. Josh basked in the praise and set his sights on other things to climb. For a long time that was their routine, until one day after Roy changed the routine.
Josh was celebrating yet another victorious climb when his father made a scary request. “Josh, I want you to jump.”
Josh’s smile was instantly replaced by with a concerned puzzled look.
“Do what, daddy?”
Josh couldn’t believe his father was asking him to jump. Roy noticed the boy’s hesitation and repeated the request.
“Son I want you to jump. Don’t worry I will catch you.”
Josh stood on the edge of the counter, wavering and wondering for what seemed like forever.
Suddenly, Josh was airborne. He decided he could trust his dad. Josh’s free fall was broken by the arms of his father, and instantly, a new game was born. Armed with newfound courage Josh cried, “Again Daddy?”
Now it was Roy’s time to comply. A new routine was started. Josh seized every opportunity to climb, jump, and be caught by his father.
Things went along fine that way for a while, until once again as Josh stood on the summit of the couch and Roy made another request.
“Josh, this time I want you to turn around backward and fall.” This time, Josh wasn’t just scared – he was terrified.
With his father’s urging and assurance, Josh reluctantly turned around and let gravity do its work.
Just as before his father caught him. From that moment on, it didn’t matter to Josh whether it was backward, forward or sideways with a flip; he knew without a doubt his father had him.
Roy took an innocent, everyday occurrence and used it to instill faith and trust in his son. In many ways, what Roy did as a natural father prepared his son for a relationship of faith and trust with his heavenly father.
It is fast becoming a rare thing for a young man to have such a foundation. I am of the opinion that failure to have such experiences and relationships hinders an individual’s development on so many levels. Much like a high wire walker has a safety net it is a comforting thing to know that your Father has your back.
The scriptures tells us, “Though a man falls many times, God is able to pick him up.” He picked up Peter, Moses and David, just to name a few. He has picked me up so many times I have lost count.
Like Josh, there are times in our lives when God makes a request that requires complete faith.
You may recall when Jesus was walking on the water and Peter stated, “Lord if it is you, allow me to come.” Jesus granted Peter’s request, but when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at his circumstances, he started to sink. And what did Peter do at that point? He said, “Jesus help!” And Jesus did just that.
I am convinced that Josh’s fall was every bit as scary as Peter’s sinking, but in the end they both were rescued.
God has assured us of his love by giving his only begotten Son for us. He has assured us that he is our provider and protector. Surely he would not have paid so high a price for us if failure was the objective.
Unlike that old popular television commercial, with God we can never say, “I have fallen and I can’t get up!”