Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isa. 46:4, NIV)
The journey of fatherhood remains filled with immense reward. My wife and I have always relished outdoor hikes together. We love hitting the trails at local parks to soak in the fresh air, get a cardio workout in, and behold the beauty of God’s creation. When our son and first child, JJ, was born, we decided to include in our enjoyment and take him along for our weekly outdoor adventures. Accomplishing this meant strapping him to my chest in a snugli. JJ was happy to ride along with us, grinning ear to ear to have the front seat view. And I didn’t mind the added weight—it only meant a better leg workout and ensured more calories burned.
I carried our son up and down the rolling hills, around winding trails, and through rugged terrain, usually for miles at a time. Of course, I had to excercise care. There are some paths out on the trail that were too treacherous to risk with a toddler in tow. In a similar way, God looked after the Hebrew people as he guided them through the barren land of the Sinai wilderness:
“The Lord your God, who goes before you, is the one who will fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your very eyes,and in the wilderness, where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as one carries a child, all the way that you traveled until you reached this place” (Deut. 1:30-31, NRSV).
For forty years, Yahweh lead the people Israel through unfamiliar desert lands. He revealed Himself strong on His people’s behalf amid hunger, dehydration, and the many quarrels that threatened to divide the Israelites. He steered their course, and in due time, brought them into Canaan, the Promised Land.
Our loving heavenly Father will carry you through whatever uneven life terrain you presently find yourself in. As JJ grows up, my aim is to be there for him. I intend to guide and see him through no matter what obstacles lie in his path. I will walk beside my little buddy through whatever valleys he has to cross or mountains to climb, for as many years as I have on this earth. As surely as the terrain changes, however, my days on earth are destined to come to an end. Thus it behooves me to build into JJ a solid foundation in the faith, to teach him in the ways of God’s word and the life of prayer. So that even after I am long gone, he can rest assured that His heavenly father walks beside him, to steer his course and direct his path, even through life’s wilderness. Indeed, long after we grow weary and old, Yahweh is still keeping watch, to rescue and sustain. We can have confidence that one day, finally God will lead us to the Promised Land.