In college, I took a camping class for a semester and one of the requirements for the class was a weekend backpacking trip in Northern Michigan.
We were told that we would do some rafting, as well as climb a tree a 100 feet up and then zip line across the river. We were also told that everyone was required to go across the zip line and that if we took too long we would be pushed off the branch!
Our guide had brought along his 9 year old son and when it came time for him to climb up the tree he made it about half-way up and then began to have a meltdown. He refused to budge, he was stuck.
I watched as his father (our rough, tough, “push you off the branch” guide) climbed up the tree to his son. He talked with him for quite a while before he began to help him step by step climb down to the bottom of the tree.
I remember being quite surprised that he had helped him climb down rather than making him climb up to the top where the zip line was. I thought, “Wow, this should be interesting to see what he does! We all have to go across the river. So how is that gonna happen?”
Our guide proceeded to put his son on his shoulders and carry him across the river. The river was quite full from the melted snow and was running at a good clip. We held our breath as he slipped on the rocks and worked against the current to carry his son across. What I will never forget was the sight of that boy on his daddy’s shoulders. All the fear was gone from his face, he was smiling and laughing and waving at us as he rode on his father’s strong shoulders across the river. He had not a care in the world!
As I watched that beautiful picture of a father’s great love for his son and the son’s complete and unwavering trust in his father, I thought, “God, is that the way you want me to live? To trust You even though the river is rushing and the water is cold. Even when my situation seems impossible and the future is daunting, do you want me to trust you like that little boy? Do you want me climb up on your shoulders and enjoy the ride?!”
Look at how the writer of Galatians describes our relationship with God once we are His.
You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Abba! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. Galatians 4:6-7 (The Message)
Do you trust your Abba Father? Are you enjoying the journey or just enduring? Do you find yourself running away or refusing to budge? Or are you just barely staying afloat?
Your Abba Father stands ready and waiting. Climb up on His shoulders and let Him carry you in whatever “river” you are wading through and most of all enjoy the ride! Because you have nothing to fear when you are on the shoulders of the One who willingly sacrificed His most treasured possession for you!
Blessed be the Lord, who bears our burdens and carries us day by day, even the God who is our salvation! Selah! Psalm 68:19 (Amplified Bible)