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He’s got the whole world in His hand!

When a young infant takes his first steps, he is guaranteed to fall. But mom and dad will be right there to pick him right back up, hug him, then set him right back on his feet to start again. This will repeatedly happen until he finally takes the five or six steps from one parent to the other without falling. He will be greeted with hand-clapping, hugs, and shouts of “hurray.” The look of excitement on the child’s face shows he knows he has done something extraordinary. And he is more than happy to try it again, and again, and again.

Then as he gets a little older, the training wheels on his bicycle come off, and he is on his way to start a new adventure. And beside him are mom and dad encouraging him, probably with one of their hands on the back of the seat to keep him steady. Suddenly they let go of the seat, and off he goes; everything is fine at first until he realizes that he is on his own. The handles bar starts swerving back and forth until he can no longer control it, and down the bike goes, followed closely by the scared boy. There will probably be some scrapes, cuts, and maybe even a tear.

But right behind is mom and dad to check his scrape, hug him, and then stand him right back on his feet. Encouraging him to get right back on and try it again. Eventually, he stays on; up and down the sidewalk, he rides as if he had been doing it for years.

As that young child ages, mom and dad stand farther and farther back so he can have the freedom to make his own way. They want him to find his own place; there will be mistakes he will fail along the way. But he will have the freedom to pick himself up and fall again and again until he learns to stand up straight and proud.

Psalm 37 says the Lord will always be with those who love him. He will always be with those who follow him so that when they fall. He will be right there to pick them up and give them the courage to get back up and try again.

Even in the darkest of times, God will be beside us with his arms stretched out, waiting for us to grab his hand tightly. Once we hold on, He will never let go. We may lose our balance along the way and even get scraped or bruised. But there He is right beside us, ready to fix hurts, give us a hug, then guide us to stand up straight and try again.

Why does God do this for us? After all, he gave us the free will to make our own decisions. So why does he not just let us live with the consequences? The answer is simple, it’s for the same reason a parent helps a young toddler stand back up and encourages him to try it again. It’s for the same reason that when that same young child learns to ride his bike without training wheels. They check his scrapes, soothe his hurts, then gently pick him up and help him back on his bike until he finally can ride up and down the sidewalk, yelling and laughing with excitement.

Parents allow their children to fall, then help them back up because their love for them is unconditional; they will be there no matter what.

God does that for us; we may fall, fail, or even walk away from him. But He will never walk away from those who love him. He will never let them walk through the dark valley without leaving a light to guide them into the bright light of his love.

We search for the door as we find our way through the dark room of despair. Once finding it, we turn the knob and are greeted with the bright light of hope. Through the morning comes the Father with arms outstretched and whispers, this is how much I love you.

When there was only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you. (From the poem Footprints in the sand)

foot prints in gray sand
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