“I can’t do it! It’s too high!” The fallen log looming before the frightened five year old appeared to be pencil thin and a mile off the ground. There was no way he wanted to cross the gorge on that thing!
It was the boy’s first camping trip with his family in the Sequoia National Forest. Redwood giants towered over them as they explored their campgrounds together. They had been wandering about for half an hour or so, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. The ‘gorge’ in question was simply a dry creek bed with a huge fallen tree across it, creating a natural bridge.
He had already witnessed his mother walk across safely, but it wasn’t enough to convince him that he would be equally successful. She realized that he wasn’t behind her and called over her shoulder to him, “Come on, you can do it!” He wasn’t so sure.
“It’s easy! Watch me; I’ll prove it!” His father walked back and forth on the log effortlessly with his hands out to either side for balance. “See, no big deal!” he said, spinning around to face his son from the far end of the log.
The boy placed a timid foot on the ‘pencil’ and started to take a step. Then he pulled it back and began to cry, “I’m scared! What if I fall off?” When he looked forward, all he could see was the depths below him, exaggerated and distorted by his fear.
His father’s heart was filled with compassion as he looked at the fear on his son’s young face. He understood that what was simple for him seemed impossible from his son’s perspective. He crossed back to the other side and knelt down before his tearful child.
He gently took his chubby little hand into his own. “Just trust me and relax. Let’s do it together, I’ll be with you every step of the way. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Many times we as Christians declare defeat when faced with a difficult situation. We feel overwhelmed by circumstances and helpless, thinking the problem is too big and there is nothing we can do about it. We become paralyzed with fear. It’s times like these that God wants us to turn to him for help. He is waiting before us, with compassion in his heart and his hand outstretched; He’s waiting for us to trust him.
As a loving father’s heart longs to help a child in need, God wants to help us overcome our troubles. Even when something seems enormous to us, it could never be too difficult for God to get us through. What bridges are you being faced with today? No matter what it is, remember that God is there, offering you a helping hand and you never have to face things alone. Maybe you really can’t handle something . . . but with God you can.