Once upon a time, a mother was walking down the street with her little boy. Not anything unusual, except that the little boy had had polio and could hardly walk and was struggling along with his iron braces. A pitiful sight, but not to the mother; she was full of radiant joy and encouraged her son to keep going.
“Good boy…It’s going so well,” she exclaimed jubilantly.
Then the boy looked up and said, “Maybe, I can still learn to run after all! Would it be all right if I try?”
A difficult question; of course that boy couldn’t run. Anybody could see that. He would fall and hurt himself.
But the mother was confident and encouraged her son. “Come on son… give it a try. You can do more than you know.”
The boy sighed and then took a few steps forward. He didn’t in any way resemble a seasoned runner, participating in a trial, but the boy did move, and for a few steps, it went well.
But then something went wrong. At one point his braces got tangled up and the boy was tumbling forward, about to crash onto the pavement. But mother was ready. With one swift move, she grabbed the boy by his shoulders and prevented him from harm.
“You did well son,” she said, as she kissed his forehead. Next time we’ll try again.”
Like the mother was ready to help, so is God.
This anecdote is a picture of God’s love for us, His bungling subjects. God is always near and encouraging us to try and He is always ready to help when we fall. The mother knew full well that her son had great limitations, but she still marveled at the boy’s sincere tries and greatly encouraged him.
Even the weakest among us have a special place in the heart of God.
In the last book of the Bible, there is an interesting verse. In Revelation 3:21 it says the following: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”
What an amazing picture our Lord is painting here. Are we sitting with the Lord on His throne? That seems misplaced. How can we, sinful humans, be allowed such closeness to Jesus?
The picture is indeed misplaced if you misinterpret that verse and take it to mean that we in Heaven will have the same rights as Jesus and we will possess the same power. Such a thought seems hopelessly arrogant and should have no place in our thoughts.
So, what did Jesus mean?
He painted a very different picture. It is the picture of a small, vulnerable child who is allowed to climb on the Father’s lap and sit with Him, while the Father is conducting His affairs.
After all, a throne is usually only made for one person.
But there is always room to sit on the lap of the father; a place of warm intimacy where the child feels safe and can cuddle up to the father’s chest. Here no harm can alarm him and here no sin can molest.
And, because He is the King and we are His children, it also means we are His little princes and princesses that are welcome and can ask anything to the Father. Just like any earthly father in a healthy family situation will be most happy to communicate with his child, so it is with our Heavenly Father.
Someone once said that God doesn’t love us because we are so valuable, but we are valuable because God loves us.
What a wonderful picture of God’s deep love for His little children. The love of God is truly all-encompassing and for that, we can be eternally grateful.