The other day I was walking down the streets of Chicago and I passed a dad and son holding hands crossing the street. The father held his son’s hand tightly so as to keep him from running out into traffic. The sight that caught my eye was not the father, but was the son. I looked into this boy’s face and saw a smile stretched from ear to ear, like a child on Christmas morning. His excitement, however, was not just in his face but his whole body leaped and bounded with joy as he skipped and jumped across the street, smiling and holding his dad’s hand. I paused for a moment, turned around, and watched as the boy hopped off into the distance with his father close by his side. I smiled as I recalled the joy on his face and the love of the father, and thought to myself, if only I could just be a kid again.
I realized then that life is meant to be like the relationship of that boy and father. On our own, we are like that boy, skittish and bound to end up hurt, lost, and afraid. But thankfully we aren’t on our own. God provided a way through His Son that we could have a Father that would walk with us keeping us safe. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus saying, “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus felt the pain we go through in life, but He did so that we could find joy in Him. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Following Christ doesn’t mean that our life will be easy. Like any good father, God will discipline us; but it’s always for our own good. And just like any child, we are bound to stray from God and we find ourselves living with consequences. But God is still there, waiting for us to come back.
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). With Christ, our life has meaning. Without Christ, we find ourselves wishing our life away seeking for something to fill the void in our heart. Like the old saying, “You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole,” so you can’t fill pleasures of this world or relationships into a heart that was meant to be filled by God. No other relationship in this world can compare to the relationship we can have with the Creator of the universe.
Have you found the joy of having a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Like the boy on the street, true joy comes by enjoying the ultimate relationship with our Father. For those of you that aren’t followers of Christ, what’s holding you back?
For those of you that are, be encouraged, Jesus has overcome your trials already. He won the eternal victory over sin, pain, and suffering on the cross 2,000 years ago. Keep surrendering your trials, struggles, and doubts to Him. He will guide you just like a good earthly father.
God is ready to walk with you through the ups and downs of life, will you reach out and grab His hand?