The other day, Chloe was trying to get into a chair so she could sit in it "like a big girl." Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t as big a girl as she thought she was.
The seat of the chair was so wide she had to stretch her arms in order to grip the sides of it. With her arms spread, she had no leverage. She struggled and strained, grunted and groaned, all to no avail.
At one point she got her upper body into the seat, but could get no further. She hung there, her feet dangling inches above the floor. She kicked her feet. She wiggled back and forth. Nothing worked. She was stuck.
Finally, she noticed me standing there. She looked at me, her big brown eyes imploring, silently asking Daddy for help.
I walked over, put my hand under her bottom and gave her a little boost. It was just enough that she was able to finish pulling herself into the chair. She turned around and sat down. Like a big girl. Her grin was huge. Her feeling of accomplishment was just as big. She had reached her goal, never mind that she’d needed a little help from her father.
Every once in a while, we need a little help from our father, too. We start out thinking we’re big enough to handle something on our own, only finding out once we’ve gotten into it that we’re not as big as we thought we were. We’re stuck somewhere between the beginning and the end, unable to move forward, yet unable to go back.
What do we do? We ask our father for help. And he gives us the boost we need.
Why just a boost? Why doesn’t he fix the situation? Why doesn’t he simply give us what we want?
Allow me to answer those questions by returning to Chloe’s situation.
As an adult, I could see her goal of getting into that chair was too big. I knew her efforts would not be enough. Did I pick her up and set her where she wanted to be? No. To do that would rob her of the accomplishment.
By giving her a boost, she still attained her goal, she learned a very important lesson: Daddy is there to help her when she needs it.
Sometimes God chooses to let us go through our struggles, just giving us a little boost when we need it, because he doesn’t want to rob us of the accomplishment. He doesn’t want to send us the message, "You’re not a strong Christian." And I think he wants us to learn another important lesson: our heavenly father is there to help us when we need it.
Are you going through any struggles right now? Have you been asking God to take those struggles away? Pardon me for saying it, but maybe your prayer ought to be that God will just give you a little boost, instead.
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville.