He stood in the grass, sobbing, unable to walk any further, the loose Band-Aid hanging lopsidedly from the bloody knee he'd skinned mere moments before. This three-year-old son of our associate pastor was heading to where his father was closing down an afternoon of music ministry at a local park. He wanted to show his dad what had happened to him - to be held close and comforted in his loving arms, knowing that his father would somehow make everything in his world right again.
But he couldn't get there. His sore knees made walking difficult, and so he just stood where he'd stopped, seeing his dad still impossibly far away, and crying in his pain and despair. About all I could do for him was reattach his Band-Aid and talk to him reassuringly. But his dad caught sight of him, saw his tears, and came running. I left when he arrived but took away with me the picture of this father kneeling beside his child, saying, "I'm here, Son. I'll carry you wherever you need to go."
It's not like the father didn’t have anything else to do. After an afternoon at the park his evening is filled with dismantling sound equipment, taking down a tent, and loading everything in trucks and vans to be transported back to the church. Once there it had to be unloaded and set in place in time for a church service the following evening. He had hours of work still ahead of him. But all that was forgotten when he saw his son's tears. Of all the positions he holds in life, the job title that means the most to him is "Dad". He dropped everything to be by his son's side in his time of need. Nothing is more important to him - ever - than the well being of his child.
Each of us is likely to face times in our lives when we'll stand in this little boy's shoes - wounded and in pain, wanting to get to our Father but seemingly unable to reach Him on our own. We get to a point where we feel we simply can't go on and stand there in tears, looking hopelessly to where we want to be. The limbs that have carried us to His side in times past seem to fail us just when we need them most.
It's hard to reach God on our own when we're hurt, sick or in pain. We find it more difficult during these times to stay focused on Him - it's harder to pray and study the Word, and often impossible to attend church services. The enemy tries to convince us that we're losing ground with God just when we need Him the most. But the Holy Spirit reminds us that God's love for us is in no way affected by our inability during these times to reach out to Him in the way we're accustomed to. His love for us remains strong, because it's not based on what we can do but rather on who He is - our loving Father. Like any good dad, His love is constant and perhaps directed towards us in a special way when we need it the most.
Others' attempts to minister to us during these times often accomplish little other than to straighten the Band-Aids which cover our wounds and reassure us with their words of hope. Sometimes we just need more than that. And so God comes to us. He does what this young father did - He sees our tears and comes running. And He wants us to know that if need be, He'll carry us all the way Home.
"We are children of God… So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness… For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 8:16,26, 38&39 AMP)
(Romans 8:16,26, 38&39 AMP)