It is a rite of passage in New England to ice skate by age three. As a father, it’s a great excuse to get them into hockey or get them out of the house during the frigid wintry months. On a cold, sunny, blustery afternoon last winter I decided it was time for my son to officially become a “New Englander,” and strap on ice skates for the first time. His first attempt on the ice: fall. Second attempt: fall. Third attempt: fall. After each time he fell, I attempted to show my son how to skate. I offered my hand to guide him. I put my own skates on to show him. I spoke words of encouragement to help him. No matter what kind of help or advice I offered to provide, I was met with the same response: I don’t need help. I can do this myself. I can make it on my own.
Once we were home, after a hot chocolate and a few ice packs later, my son fell asleep in my arms under his blue Paw Patrol blanket on our couch. That afternoon on the rink was the first time my son had tried to rely on his own abilities and not take the help I offered. As I thought about that instance at the ice rink, a thought occurred to me: how often do I do the same thing in my relationship with God that my son did with me? How often, do we as men try to attempt to go through life on our own without God and fall? How often do we go through life rejecting God’s help on a daily basis because we think we can make it on our own and do things our way?
As men we are genetically programmed not to ask for help. Whether it be a tasking or presentation at work, fixing something around the house, or putting a cabinet together from IKEA, we always feel that we do not need any help or guidance. It seems better that way. As a father of two young boys I have always tried to project a sense of confidence that I can do everything and provide for their every need. There’s just one problem: I can’t. I need help just as much as they do. I need help when I get overwhelmed trying to be the perfect father, husband, son, employee, and friend. The good news is, there is always someone there to help me: that person is God and his son our Lord and savior Jesus Christ!
The amount of times God offers help in the Bible are numerous. Parenting can be overwhelming trying to provide everything our family needs by ourselves. It was not until I entered the world of fatherhood that I realized just how many times in the Bible God offers guidance to everyone and provides the help we need:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3; 5-6)
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all who reproach.” (James 1:5)
“And my God will supply every need according to his riches.” (Philippians 4:19)
“Fear not, for I am with you. be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. i will help you. (Isaiah 41:10)
These passages, as helpful as they are, come with a condition: God has to come first. God will provide all the help we need but we have to let Him. In order for God to provide the help we need we must make sure he is our number one priority. For it says “Put God first and all these things will be given.” (Matthew 6:33)
Our fast-paced, ever-changing world poses a challenge to holiness. We all have a mission to live a holy life, provide for our families, raising them in the faith, and ultimately get them to heaven. Knowing God is there offering us His help to accomplish this sacred mission is a blessing. The question is, will you stay on the ice and keep falling down trying to do it yourself, or will you turn your gaze upwards to Jesus, take his hand, and allow him to guide you around the rink? Always remember you are a child of God. A loving father always will offer help helping hand help his child. Don’t be afraid to take it.