Last year, our youngest son was sick and my wife took him to the doctor. He has always been a “Daddy‘s boy,” wanting me close when he was sick or hurt. Unfortunately, our family had another crisis that day leaving me waiting for a repairman and unable to accompany them to the pediatrician.
At some point, my son called me from the doctor‘s office for no apparent reason. I never could understand why he called. He just chatted. When my wife picked up the phone, she said that he had insisted on “calling his daddy” for some courage before he received a shot. I later asked him what good it did to call me when I couldn‘t be there. Without looking up he said, “Hearing your voice reminds me that I will be okay…no matter what.”
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you” promises God in the book of Isaiah, “and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you”(43:2). God never promises us that we will not face difficulties or hardships in life. Scripture is clear that troubles are part of life in this world. What God does promise us is that we will never be alone, and that we will not be over whelmed.
So often though we feel alone in the midst of these trials and hardships. But this Isaiah passage reminds us that God does not leave us alone. Many times we simply need to reach out and grab a hold to the extended hand of God. Remind ourselves of all the blessings God has placed in our paths, and all the promises God has kept. Sometimes we simply need to “Call our Father.”
There was a peculiar rock deep in the forest near a church we attended during my childhood. This huge rock had a small waterfall that flowed near it, and a single tree growing from it‘s top. We loved hiking down to the rock after church with my father. The path was long as it wound down the hill. My father always cautioned to stay together so that we did not get hurt or lost. One day, I decided to make my own path, straight down through the brush and brambles. What I didn‘t know was that my younger brother had followed after me. He became so entangled in the briars that I had to get our father to help him out. When we finally reached the rock, my father glanced down and said, ―We follow the path not because it is the only way, but because it is the easiest way for others to follow us.‖
In Ephesians 4, Paul writes: ―I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. (4:1b-3)― In this passage, Paul is reminds us that the paths we choose to walk in life are important. The way we live influences the spirituality of those around us as much as it does our own.
Paying attention to the details of our lives and faith does not always appear to be the easiest way to reach fulfillment. But Each time we half-heartedly walk our faith, it is as if we have set out through life trying to make our own paths. The problem is that even if we are successful…we haven‘t helped anyone else find their way. The way we live should lead us closer to God, but also help make God easier for others to find. Our lives and spirituality are deeply connected to those around us. If we strive to live all aspects of our daily walk as faithfully as possible, our life and the lives of those around will be blessed. When God is the center of our life, the people on it‘s circumference will show it.