I always enjoy going home to visit my family. My parents are always happy to see me and I thoroughly enjoy seeing my sisters and brother-in-law, and my three nephews and one niece. My oldest nephew, Evan, is now 8 years old.
Several years ago, when Evan was 3 1/2, I was home for Christmas. One night at my parents house I took him outside with me to go on a "little adventure." As we were walking through the yard, I felt his little hand reach up for mine as he said, "Uncle Free, will you hold my hand? I'm scared." Of course I said yes.
Later that night, as I remembered our "adventure," I thought about his simple request. The yard was very dark, and had I not walked through it many times before, I myself would have been very cautious as we made our way across it. Evan had no ability to expect where the trees were or how far away the ditch may be. He wasn't even sure where we were headed. He simply had said yes when I asked him if he would go outside with me.
So why did his holding my hand make everything alright? Why did he have so much faith in me. How did his hand wrapped in mine provide comfort and confidence for him to continue through the dark? While I don't have all the answers to these questions, they do make me think about our relationship with God.
How often does He ask me to go on an adventure with Him? I couldn't even answer that question because I so often am not even listening to hear Him when He does ask.
Why wouldn't I trust Him to lead me through the darkness when I have no ability to forge my own way through?
How does His holding my hand provide "all authority in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18) to give me comfort and confidence?
Why don't I as enthusiastically, as blindly, and with the same faith my nephew Evan has in me trust the Lord and follow Him through all the adventures He has for me?
If Evan had said no, that he didn't want to go outside with me, his life would have been no less affected as it was by our "little adventure." He would have simply stayed safe inside with the rest of the family in a completely familiar and comfortable environment.
However, every time I do listen to the Lord, say yes to His invitations, trust Him, and hold His hand as He takes me through new places, my life IS drastically affected. My ability to trust Him grows. My faith in Him rises. I provide opportunities for Him to prove Himself faithful to me once more, even though He is not required to do so. It is His joy. It is the delight of His heart. To a much greater degree than how fulfilling it is for me to take Evan on new adventures, it is so pleasing to the Lord when I truly lay down my life and follow Him. Granted, there will be dark places and I may be scared sometimes. But with the simple request and touch of my Father's hand, all peace is restored.
I'm thankful for Evan reminding me of how glorious it is to take an adventure with someone you love and trust. When I do, life is lived. May you take your own adventures with our Father as He invites you and may the touch of His hand holding yours provide all that you need to continue walking. May your "I'm scared" never keep you from what lies ahead.
- Free Waters