Look, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.
(And ~364 more places)
Our youngest turned 1 in February. He’s been walking for months, but he’s still getting the hang of it. He often runs much faster than he has the control or balance to do, and his brakes are not terribly reliable. As such, he falls. A lot. When he does, he immediately turns to look at us. With small tumbles, if we respond in worry, fear, or panic, he bursts into tears. If we respond with a smile or giggle or support, he laughs and gets back up and tries again. I’ve learned two things from him. He trusts us more than even his own pain and experience, turning to us first. And secondly, his faith in us is the bedrock of his resilience.
What do we do when we fall? What do we do when we experience challenges, difficulties, pain, or loss? Do we look to God? And do we then trust God for our resilience? “Fear not,” appears in scripture 365 times. You could read it somewhere new every day of the year. It’s often a greeting from God or God’s messengers. Few messages are repeated to God’s people so often as those encouraging words from our creator. God is telling us to trust, to have courage, to hang in there, to have faith. When we fall, we can look immediately to God. If it’s a bad fall, God has promised to send us aid. Our family, our friends, our family of faith, and our advocate, the Holy Spirit can be trusted.
It is all too easy for us to trust our own pain and experience when we fall. We can panic, get upset, demand our own way, or be wounded. But we have been taught to trust in the Lord. In times of trouble, that can sound hollow or cliche'. But when we watch a child show us that kind of trust, we can be reminded that it’s all that simple and all that hard. So when we face calamities like pandemics, unemployment, or loss of a loved one, we can remember the trust of a child and have something for which to strive. May we all look up when we fall and learn to trust what we know to be true.