I have never mastered the art of ice-skating, so it amazes me to see tiny tots staggering around the rink, somehow keeping their balance on two razor-thin blades. Red cheeks and sparkling eyes are almost hidden under a helmet with a cage across their face for safety. Bundled up in a snowsuit that's usually one size too large ("they'll grow into it"), they set out, first pushing a chair-like contraption ahead of them. Then, they become fearless. With all that padding, they couldn't possibly hurt themselves, though there are bigger children who can intimidate them.
My son texted me a video of my little granddaughter at the rink. Last year, she was able to walk on her skates around the side of the rink by herself, but within touching distance of the boards. This year, she couldn't wait to set out directly across the rink, with nothing to hold onto if she fell.
Her mother and little sisters crowded in the opposite entrance to watch and cheer my granddaughter on. Head up, arms swinging, she set out. On the video, I could hear her skates on the ice. Scrape, scrape … One of her brothers sped by with a word of encouragement. She was not to be distracted. Her steps didn't falter. Determined, she kept going.
Scrape, scrape … Almost there. But my little granddaughter was growing tired. Now, her head was down, her arms beginning to flail. I held my breath as I watched. At the last moment, she cried out "Daddy, Daddy!"
The video jumped, and I realized, of course, that my son had been right beside her the whole time with his camera. Unseen, he was within grabbing distance if she fell.
But she made it! At the end of her strength, she reached out for the boards at the side of the rink and touched them. I heard my son shout, "You did it!" as her sisters jumped up and down, wild with excitement.
The video came to an abrupt end. What determination! I was so proud of her!
Hebrews 12:1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us … run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus … so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (NIV)
The apostle Paul likens our life's journey to a race. He encourages us to persevere and stay the course by keeping our eyes firmly fixed on our Saviour, Jesus. If we concentrate on Him, we won't be distracted, tire, or lose hope. And Paul tells us that there are those who are watching, cheering us on.
Hebrews 13:5b – God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (NIV)
God is always with us. Unseen, He is right beside us all the way. We can step out; we are never alone. All we have to do is cry out "Abba! Daddy!"
Prayer: Abba, we are Your children, adopted into Your family. Thank You for encouraging and comforting us, and for never leaving our side. Help us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on You to the end. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Little Drops Of Water" (Lyrics)