In just the last few weeks, we have been learning and relearning many valuable spiritual lessons of how God, our Father, works with us. These lessons have been increasingly evident as we have been in the process of Kaleb learning to walk. Many times in life we often find ourselves wondering where God is in our various experiences. It seems that it in some of our more difficult times we cannot perceive or discern His presence in our lives. At times we may be tempted to wonder if we are truly His children and if He actually cares for us. It is easy to trust when we can feel His hand holding us every step of the way. However, it takes very little faith to trust something we can consciously feel and sense. We can only learn to walk by faith most effectively when we can't see the hand holding us.
We are absolutely delighted at Kaleb’s progress. In just the past couple of weeks, Kaleb has been making great progress towards walking independently. It brings to mind a favorite quote from author C. S. Lewis: “He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles.” As parents, even though Kaleb may feel like this part of the journey is hard, we could not be more delighted with his efforts to walk. Whether he feels like it or not, our thoughts and affections are always focused on him and he is never truly alone.
Kaleb has been falling often. In our Christian journey, there are many times that we stumble. It’s easy to get discouraged and to beat up on ourselves about it. What we forget is that the only way to never fail is to never try, and this is not what God wants for us. “…’But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Hebrews 10:38, 39. When we do sin, (whether it is intentional or a mistake), “…we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1b. Kaleb was our son before he was born, is our son now as he is beginning to walk, and will be our son when he is a man fully grown with children of his own. His present stumbles do not change the fact that he is a permanent member of our family. Kaleb probably has no idea how much he has improved, he is simply focused on doing his best right now and doesn’t let the fact that he falls from time to time keep him from getting up and trying again.
Kaleb has many peers who are already walking. Fortunately, he is not yet to the stage where he has begun to compare himself to others. How often we fall into the trap of looking at others when we should focus on our own walk with God! We can’t even see the full picture of what is going on in others’ lives…sometimes their perfection is just an illusion. As Kaleb’s parents, we are delighted in his progress, whether it is faster or slower than some other child’s. Can’t you just imagine how happy God is when we choose to take steps (or stumbles!) towards Him? It doesn’t matter what our physical age is, we all need to “grow up into salvation” 1 Peter 2:2b.
Kaleb is not alone. While we are not going to continue to carry him every step of the way, and we are allowing him to begin to experience more independence, we are continually watching him and are there when he needs us. We may allow him small stumbles, but we are doing everything in our power to make sure he does not experience a fall down a flight of stairs! “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:23, 24.
This month I pray that you will join us in recognizing the joy of the journey in being part of the family of God and continually encourage each other in our learning to walk.