When I was a little girl, the department stores had wooden escalators. I was terrified to step onto that moving step!
Why was I so afraid? Sometimes I imagined I would fall headlong down that long flight of stairs. Other times I thought my shoe would get stuck in the spaces between the treads. The clunking of the mechanism exaggerated the dangers in my mind. My heart would race and I’d shiver.
I’d stretch my foot out towards the first step, but hesitate so long that the next step was halfway there before I could get up my nerve to step on. Then I’d jump back and refuse to get on. Mom would try to assure me I could do it, she’d offer to take my hand and step on with me. I’d refuse so long a line formed behind us and we’d have to let others get on first. Sometimes they would turn around and smile at me and say, “See I’m OK, you can do it too.” I’d blush with embarrassment. Mom would entice me by telling me she would help me pick out my treat from the bargain basement sale bins. I don’t remember now, what finally helped me get over this fear. But to this day, there are times when I still have a momentary hesitation before getting onto an escalator.
We’ve been trying to help some different friends deal with hard things they experienced recently. There are no easy answers to their depression, grief, and illness. The pat answers don’t help! “There’s nothing to worry about.” or “Your loved one is in a better place.” or “Others have much worse problems than you do.” In some cases there is some small thing we can do, but in most of them, the best we have to offer is a listening ear, tender heart, and faithful prayer.
As I was trying to process these different troubles, one thing kept coming to mind. God knows and He knows how we can get through troubles like these. The mental image of me standing at the top of that wooden escalator came to mind. My mom knew I could ride that escalator safely. She knew she would not leave me for even a second. And she knew there was something good for me at the other end of that ride. All I had to do was trust her and step on.
When we are faced with situations that overwhelm us. We feel like that little girl seeing apparent danger. We don’t want to take that ride! It’s just too scary. We get embarrassed that we have emotional responses we don’t seem capable of controlling. We may stomp our feet and ‘refuse’ it, only to realize it is inevitable.
But like my Mom, God will never abandon us (Deut. 31:8). God has compassion on us (Psa. 103:13-17). God has a future and a hope for us (Jer. 29:11). And God wants us to turn to Him all the time and trust Him (Psa. 62:5-8).
Take a moment to consider:
Is there something you are facing that you feel is just too big and scary to face? Is there something that has happened to you or your loved ones that makes you wonder whether God knows or cares about you? Does the future look bleak? Why not pour out your heart to God? He already knows how you feel and what you are thinking, but He wants you to tell Him. Find your hope and strength in God as you trust Him to be all you need to take the next step.