One of my dearest friends and her husband got to witness their daughters very first steps the other day. It was such a magical moment and watching the video, I felt like I was right there with them. It was overwhelming to see this little tiny human figure out she could walk, like witnessing a miracle. I couldn't explain the joy in her daddy's eyes, he was beaming so incredibly proud of these little tiny steps his daughter had taken, one by one.
God spoke to my heart in that moment, in words my heart needed to hear more than I could've known. "That's how I feel about you, with every single step you take." So often, I am really good at focusing on all the things I've done wrong, beating myself up for the mistakes I've made, or the times I've stumbled that I forget how good and gracious our Father is towards His children. I forget how HE sees me. Beaming with pride, cheering me on, waiting with open arms to catch me in every step I take, even the small, not-so-sure of myself ones. He is a good, good Father.
I noticed a few things though, as she began to walk. The first was when her momma whispered from behind the camera "shh, shh don't make a lot of noise!" and the room went quiet, as she walked one teetering step at a time into her daddy's arms. She did this so that her daughter could focus on the task at hand, not get distracted, and learn how to do it on her own. It is easy, especially in seasons where it feels like God is distant, or silent, to believe that He is. But just like her daddy never moved, sitting right there on the floor, arms open and ready to catch her - Our God never moves either.
I was listening to a podcast with John Bevere the other day, talking about seasons of wilderness and how God uses them to grow and mature our faith, and I couldn't help but notice the connection to my friend's daughter learning how to walk. Everyone was quiet, she was walking all on her own, it would have been easy to think that no one was there when in fact, she was surrounded by love. People that love her so much that they know, in order for her to grow, at some point, they have to let go. Sometimes, when it feels like God is silent, like He 's not at work, like He doesn't care - He cares more deeply, is more at work, and is growing you more than you could ever dare to imagine.
The second thing I noticed was that not for ONE second did her daddy put his arms down. Not one single second was she unprotected, unloved, or uncared for. Not one second. How quickly we can decide that God has left us all alone in times of trouble, in seasons of perceived silence, but this could not be further from the truth. There is not one single second that our God forsakes us, that is a promise He makes, and the Lord does not break His promises. No matter what we are walking through, no matter how deep the pain, how hot the fire, He is there. Always.
Our God, He's a good Father. He is wide-eyed and gleaming with joy at His children, with every move they make towards Him. When He seems distant, He never is, but in His great love for us, He also wants us to grow, like any good parent would. One step at a time, oh Christian, He is there. You are His child, His most treasured possession. I pray we all can see ourselves through His eyes, even in our messiest steps and stumbles, our God never gives up on us. Amen.