“With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall”
We went out early on the first day of school, so full of excitement about the big day that we couldn’t stand in the house a moment longer. My girls were ready almost an hour early and had been wearing their backpacks for a full five minutes before I finally opened the door and we stepped outside.
And there we stood, waiting, waiting, and waiting for the big yellow bus. (And taking pictures, of course).
And I wasn’t on it with them.
Because silly mom, school buses are for kids.
I love being a mom, but there are some things I hate.
I hate ending the summer.
I hate that there are parts of their day, more and more all the time, that I can’t witness first hand and I only get to hear about in bits and pieces when they come home.
I hate that there are hurts I can’t prevent and heartache I can’t stop.
I hate that I can’t keep them safe from everything wrong and mean and hard in this world.
I hate that they grow up so stinking fast. You hold them in the hospital and the next thing you know they are stepping on a yellow bus and managing the big wide world of cafeterias, hallways, classrooms, playgrounds, and school bathrooms without you.
But there’s beauty here, too.
Because there they were at the end of that first day of school, all safe and cheerful.
They spilled out everything in their backpacks and handed me my “assignments.” They showed me where to sign in their agendas and held up the forms I needed to fill in.
They announced the rules in every class and showed off an organized Trapper Keeper, a first homework paper, and the very first classroom assignment my baby girl made in Kindergarten.
I guess they survived without me.
I tear up a little at the thought, tears I managed to hold off that whole first day while they were gone.
I hate that I missed seeing all that myself. I hate that all this growing and independence just takes them one step closer to adulthood.
But I’m proud, too.
Sometimes I can carry my kids.
Sometimes they need to walk.
But I’m here for them no matter what.
In Psalm 18, the writer declares that God:
“reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
God yanked the Psalmist out of the drowning waves and saved him from overwhelming foes.
Not only that, the psalmist says, “You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way” (Psalm 18:36).
Sometimes God knows we need rescue.
Sometimes, He knows our feet are tender and uncertain. So, He gives us a broad path and a relaxing walk, rather than a treacherous mountain climb up a narrow rock-filled pathway.
But life isn’t always easy and our journey isn’t always a Sunday stroll on a bright and cheerful day.
God doesn’t always carry us out of tough times; sometimes He takes us through.
In that same Psalm, it says: “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall” (Psalm 18:29).
And why can we perform these feats of wonder with God’s help? Because He has trained us in times of peace so that we can battle through times of war.
The Psalmist says:
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze (Psalm 18:32-34).
God has exercised our limbs of faith and traveled with us in paths both broad and narrow. Our feet have grown accustomed to the journey, becoming sure-footed like a deer’s and able to scale great mountainous heights.
And while God is always with us, never abandoning us for a moment, sometimes He chooses to walk alongside us through difficult circumstances rather than lifting us up and carrying us through them.
Maybe you are being carried right now.
Or maybe He’s asked you to walk.
But know this: He’s still with you no matter what.
Originally posted September 9, 2011
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King