Learning to Walk

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. … I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms ... I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them. ... How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? ... My heart churns within Me; my sympathy is stirred.
Amazing, those words from Hosea 11. The very God who stretched out the galaxies is here demonstrating the tender love of a father. "I lifted him, like a baby, to my cheek," The Message paraphrase has it. "I bent down to feed him."

"I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms." I taught Lincoln to ride a bike when he was four. I took off the training wheels one spring afternoon and lowered the seat on his Huffy "Blue Racer." On his tiptoes he could barely touch the ground. In no time he was riding around the cul-de-sac, excited about his new accomplishment. Occasionally he would fall and get frustrated, but as I lay in bed with him that night I reminded him that God had never failed him yet, so we prayed that God would teach him to ride better and not fall down so much. The next day we went out again, and during one particularly tumble-free stretch, Lincoln called out: "Didn't God do a good job!"

Later he zoomed up to me and slammed on the brakes. I said, "That was good -- you were about to run into this mailbox so you put the brakes on." He said, "That's not why I stopped. I stopped because I wanted to tell you something."

"Oh. What is it?"

"I love you for helping me."

Well of course I'm going to help him. I love him. And because our Father loves us, he takes us by the arm and helps us learn to walk.

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