by Boni Piper, Director, CFDM Northwest Spiritual Formation Program
“And a little child shall lead them.” Recently, my daughter and a friend were attacked in her driveway. It was an ugly sort of thing with wrestling on the ground, sucker punches and screaming. No one was seriously hurt but the experience was frightening for everyone. The children were in the house and safe, but knew what was going on. When my daughter went back into the house to check on them, the girls were crying (6 & 9) and her son, age 11 was praying. I see him there, in some way knowing that the only place to really turn in such a difficult situation was to Jesus. Such faith! Such maturity! What was he thinking? In a confusing situation of crying sisters, a stunned nanny and obvious trauma on the other side of the door, he turned to Jesus for help. Not as his second choice, but as his only choice.
Oh how I want to be like Ryder. I want just one choice too, one idea, one refuge. Too often I need to get lots of opinions first. I need to exhaust myself by trying different solutions. And then, when all else fails, Jesus help me!
The woman who reached out to touch the cloak of Jesus had used up all her wealth to find healing, to no avail. And then there was Jesus. The man who had a son with an unclean spirit went first to the disciples for healing, but that didn’t work. And then there was Jesus.
“God is our refuge and our strength.” He covers us like a hen does with her chicks. He’s called our stronghold, the watchman in the tower, the one who makes our way straight. We know these images given to us by God do not mean we will never have trouble. We get sick, people die, we watch our children struggle… But what we must ponder is, “Where does our help come from?”
Those who have walked with God for many years know the difference between facing adversity with God and facing it without him. Is there anything we can’t handle when God is with us? Only with the Spirit’s covering are we emotionally and spiritually safe.
I don’t know how Ryder knew that at such a young age. He’s been through a lot in his young life. So, maybe through experience, good teaching, something he heard in church, he knew that we have direct access to God in times of trouble. I think he knows we have that access to God in times of joy as well. It is this deep connection that makes us call out to the lover of our souls, and transforms us. The connection to Jesus is the transforming connection.
You have heard that sitting with Jesus changes us. How could it not? Sitting with Jesus regularly makes us turn to him for help, laugh with him in joyous times, listen to him when we don’t understand our world. It’s in these moments that transformation happens. Oh that turning to him would be so ordinary in our lives that it becomes the natural place to go with all our life experiences! Sitting with Jesus regularly prepares us for the day we must run to him. Are you ready?