Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Falling Out of a Tree & Comfort from Above

Last night my four-year-old was exuberantly climbing a tree in our yard. He was so excited to show me how high he could go and he really wanted me to be proud of him for his accomplishment – and his expectation wasn’t disappointed. I think all fathers who love their children are excited when the children are excited about newfound skills, talents, or knowledge.

Well, getting down was a cinch…the first time. The second time he climbed up and then got down, he slid a bit too fast and received one long thin scrape on his inner forearm. This scrape set the next hour (or so) in motion. The initial crying in pain, the terrified sobbing at not wanting to have the scrape properly washed, the crying in (somewhat) imagined pain at the ever-so-gentle washing of the scrape, and the unstoppable sobbing for now real reason afterward.

It was very difficult to see my son go from excitement and joy to pain and fear. I know from experience that tree-climbing cuts are plentiful and a bit painful, but nothing serious enough to warrant the awe inspiring display that they usually do. I know that the cut hurts, and when you’re a child with a cut – the world seems to come to an end because this is the worst thing that could happen at this time. But I also know that he’ll be okay, that I am here to make sure the cut is properly taken care of, and that this is such a small thing in the scope of his life that to become overly exercised about it is unnecessary.

In the above experience, I was the father and I was able to calm my child because of who I am and because my son loves me, listens to me, and believes in me.

However, I’ve been dealing with my own scrape on the arm, as it were, and I am no less extreme in my reaction to it. The world seems to be closing in and this scrape is causing an internal, yet still somewhat of an all-consuming and hysterical, reaction of stress and anxiety. My heavenly Father has sent His Spirit into the world, and His ministry is present in times like this. Among other things, the Spirit is here to comfort the believer in times of trouble – even when the trouble may be imagined or accentuated because of my own imperfect and sinful response.

I can praise God today for the lesson that He is teaching me in this juxtaposition of my internal struggle and the minor scrape that my son received on his arm. Also, if nothing else, the scrape that my beloved son suffered last night has been used by God for my good and His glory (Rom 8:28) as it is helping to cause my eyes to focus heavenward. My son may never know how his scrape was the event that God used to correct his father’s heart. But the fact that he is unaware of how his painful situation has caused me to praise God and how it has influenced my teaching and leading of him is yet another lesson to me. These lessons are both all the more important as I deal with my own scrapes and cuts as I journey through this life.

Soli Deo Gloria.

No comments:

Copyright © 2005-2010 Eric Johnson