A month or so back, my wife and I found out about a local football and cheerleader organization here in Lakeland, called the Lakeland Saints. They run football teams from ages 4 to 14. My boy, Timmy, who is 5 ½, has shown interest in football, so we signed him up for flag football. His first practice was this Monday, and he did great. The coach had them running, and got them familiar with blocking. It was a proud moment for me when I watched Timmy turn into a brick wall blocking another boy! Yesterday, they practiced running with the ball, then receiving. Timmy did great catching passes from the coach, even throwing the ball back. It was shaping out to be a great practice.
That's when it kind of turned around on the poor kid. The coaches lined them up in formation, and they got to run plays, going after the kid with the ball. They block and are really physical during these drills. Well, Timmy got caught off guard, and was run over by another kid. Shaken, he got up, and I saw immediately that he was upset. He saw me, and made a bee-line for me, tears flowing. He clutched on to me, and wouldn't let go for anything. He said he hurt his leg, and was so shaken that he didn't want to go back out on the field. It tore me up inside to take him back out there, but how else can he learn if he doesn't try again? Fortunately, practice was nearing its end, and we soon headed home. Before we left, the coach talked with him about remembering to block, and Timmy was ready to go for the next practice, which happens to be tomorrow.
Timmy will learn of the years that life doesn't get any easier. Today it may be a lineman knocking him down, but later on it will be something else. I've had some real experience in that lately. I've found myself under stress these past couple weeks that's been nearly crippling. I was at the point that I dreaded getting up in the morning. While I had to press on, I admit that I did what Timmy did yesterday. I ran to my Daddy. More specifically, I ran to my heavenly Father, or as Jesus told us to call him, Abba. That's Aramaic for daddy. It was an intimate word that a Hebrew child used when he talked with his father. Last week, having been knocked on my rear, I found myself running to the sidelines of life, crying out for God to cradle me and somehow, make everything better. While God didn't change the circumstances, His loving touch on me did give me the strength to carry on. I just needed my Daddy.
Running to Daddy is one secret God's men and women throughout the scriptures have employed throughout time. Abraham did when he was told to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Jacob did when he was facing the brother he cheated years before. Moses did when the nation cried against him. David did when raiders burned his town down and ran off with his and his men's families. Elijah did when the fear of Jezebel had crippled him. And Jesus did in the garden, just before He went to the cross. Friends, if all these found comfort in "the God of all comfort", how much more should we? We have a promise that whenever we need His grace, we can boldly come get it. Jesus is "touched with the feelings of our infirmities". He understands what we endure, and He is ready to give us the comfort and grace we need. "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). The Lord is waiting, friends. He is ready to hold you in His Arms and give you the comfort and the strength to press on.
Sometimes, we just need our Daddy.