I was about 7-years-old when my papa took our family to Rome, and I have very fond memories of this trip.
Perhaps the most mammoth memory comes from our visit to the mighty Colosseum. I thought it was pretty cool to be standing in a place where so many people fought for their lives. Of course, the horror of how many people were actually killed in the Colosseum completely escaped my 7-year-old brain, and instead, I reveled in hearing the crowds cheer on the victor.
What if that victor were me?
And with that thought, I jumped into what remained of the arena — or at least as close to it as my mom would allow me to go — and I began fighting for my life. I slashed out at that imaginary foe, and as I did, I could hear the imaginary crowds leap to their feet with a roar of approval. I was, after all, only 7 years old. It wasn’t often that they saw such a young warrior, especially one as victorious as I was in my imagination!
This little game left me feeling so enamored with the Colosseum that I snapped as many pictures as my parents would let me. We did use film in those days, film that had to be developed for a fee, even if the pictures didn’t turn out! Fortunately for me, most of my pictures did turn out, and I still have them to this day as a forever reminder of my one moment of imaginary glory in the world-famous Colosseum of Rome!
It’s funny how kids think, isn’t it?
My papa also took us to many other unforgettable attractions in Rome, and I enjoyed each and every one. Well, maybe not as much as the Colosseum. And I do have to admit that my 7-year-old legs did get tired before the day was over, and I got hot and thirsty, so the attractions we saw later in the day might not have been quite as pleasurable as the colosseum… When that fatigue and thirst began to hit me, however, my dad did something any good dad would do: He picked me up and put me on his shoulders, and from this mighty perch, I was able to enjoy the rest of what we set out to see in Rome!
I did, indeed, have a good father.
And so do you. We all do. We have the best Father imaginable: God Himself! “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba Father.'” (Romans 8:15 NIV)
Think for a moment: What if I had refused my father’s help when he wanted to carry me?
I would have gotten more and more tired until I started to whine; and in the end, my whining would have probably kept the rest of my family from enjoying their day…
Our Father in Heaven is offering to carry you: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28 NIV). It is our choice to allow Him to do so or not.
What will it be? Will you surrender your problems to Him and allow Him to carry you through them? Or will you insist on carrying them on your own? I urge you to let Him carry you through!
One more thought comes to mind as I meditate on this story. God is the ultimate in help; but the Bible also asks us to help one another. In the same way my papa picked me up and carried me when I was tired, we should reach out to help one another. Sometimes it only requires an encouraging word. Sometimes it is financial assistance. Sometimes it is support through rough times. Whatever it is, we are called to help one another: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Romans 6:2 NIV).
What will it be? When we are the ones in need, will we turn to our Abba, our Heavenly Papa, and allow Him to carry us through?
And when we see others around us in need, will we reach out and help carry their burdens?
In His Love,
To access the entire “Through the Eyes of a Child” devotional series, please click here!