When you think about teaching a child how to walk, what comes to mind? Possibly holding the child’s hands and guiding his or her steps? Or sending the child across the room from one parent to another? At some point, though, the youngster must attempt this endeavor on his or her own, persevering through the uneasiness and many falls.
What happens, though, when you cannot reach this goal through your own perseverance? May need a little help, eh? Shortly after my own birth, one doctor informed my parents that I would never walk, or at least not until the age of eighteen. However, another offered a whole different perspective by stating that, with much physical therapy, casting, and surgery, I would walk by the age of two. Standing upon this newfound encouragement, my parents realized, to reach this goal, they would need to team up with some additional resources. Dr. Shoenecker, the proposer of this new aim, headed up the necessary surgeries on my hips and feet to make this possible. Marty worked with me for at least a year in physical therapy, holding my feet in position on the floor as I cried out in agony. My parents exercised me three times a day, stretching my muscles and loosening my joints.
Then, one day, it happened. Close to my second birthday, Mom, Marty, and I were walking down the hallway with the grip of Marty’s hand on me as usual. As the women grew more immersed into their conversation, Marty let go of me, turning her entire attention to my mother. Suddenly, a few moments later, realizing what was happening, Mom and Marty watched in awe as I pushed my walker and strolled slowly down the hall for the first time on my own. With the Lord’s hand upon my life, I know I would have never succeeded in reaching this dream if it had not been for the continuous perseverance and unity of these individuals involved.
Persevering during times of struggle not only allows us to reach the unreachable but brings unity as we strive for the commonality of one goal. Further, as James 1:12 states, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
O Holy One, we ask for Your presence to be with us this day. Bring to each of us a spirit of truth, kindness, and respect. Help us to set aside our fears by wrapping Your comforting arms around us. Open our minds, eyes, ears, and hearts, so we may listen to each other and accept their words with loving kindness. Teach us how to each take responsibility for our own behavior but grow together in Your love. Take control of this day, Lord. Guide us, and go before us now. In Your precious name, Amen.