When He Holds Our Hand Across the Creeks
My husband and I headed out on the trail, with our 8 month old strapped securely in my carrier, our excited 2 ½ year old leading the way through the rocks and leaves, and our dog bounding along beside us. This particular trail was a little more difficult than ones we’ve taken with our two year old walking, but she was ready for the task.
On the way out the path weaved across a creek bed a couple times, leaving a narrow path of rocks to balance on to get across the shallow water. As we came to the creek, as any mama would do, I picked up my two year old, slowly balancing on all the rocks, as my husband managed getting our dog across behind us (as well as keeping an eye, and more importantly a hand balancing me at the same time).
We made it across two crossings in the stream as we hiked onward, but eventually we decided it was wise to not push our toddler’s legs too far, so we turned to head back.
We approached the first crossing in the stream and as I got ready to pick my daughter up, I heard my husband asking her, “Do you want to walk across the stream on the rocks?”
His question was answered with a reserved, “No, you can carry me.” I then heard my husband again prod, “Why don’t you try to walk, I’ll hold your hand.”
My daughter hesitated, but still resisted. Still, my husband gently took her hand and started telling her, “I’ll hold on to you, why don’t you try to do it. See that rock right there, just put your foot on it.” She gave a shy, “Well ok”, as he started to lead her forward into the creek.
My mommy worry started to creep in, as I thought to myself, “Why does he keep asking her? There are lots of slippery and unstable rocks in there, it’s not really a big deal for her to do this.” Oh, thankfully, the Lord knew what he was doing when he gave me my husband to lead me, and I decided to keep my big mouth shut.
Instead I stood on the other side, watching my daughter hold her daddy’s hand and take step after step on the rocks. About halfway in, she paused, whimpering a little and turned around toward her daddy, not wanting to move forward, anymore. He gently reassured her, and encouraged her to keep going, as I quickly took our dog so she could have both of daddy’s hands. With new resolve, she continued on, taking the next rock, then the next, following the directions her daddy gave to her.
Soon, she made it to the other side and stepped onto the shore, surrounded by cheering from her mommy and daddy. With the biggest two year old smile she exclaimed, “I want to do it again!”
Oh I was so proud of her, but as I stood there in that moment, I thought of how thankful I was for her wise daddy.
I couldn’t help but think how my own Heavenly Father similarly takes care of and teaches us. A father who gently leads us into the uncomfortable and into the unknown, not so we can see how able we are, but to learn how trustworthy He is. He does not exasperate us, but he lovingly guides and directs us through the difficulties so we can understand more of who He is. In just a small way, my daughter learned she could trust her daddy that day, and reminded me that I can do the same. Just as my daughter learned, holding onto her daddy’s hands- MY Father is strong, He is able, and He is safe. It is after those difficult moments with our Heavenly Father, that we can say with even more confidence, that we can do it again- because we know who is holding our hand.
“Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26