Teen Talk: Jump!

Our heavenly Father is there to catch us whenever we are frightened.

Johanna Leu

Did you ever go on adventures when you were little?

My brother and I always had adventures in our backyard. There was a hill that led down to a valley with a small creek. Near the creek was a place we liked to call “The Kingdom.” It was just a bunch of trees, crushed by one giant, fallen tree, making a long, sheltered area. But it always gave us an adventure.

I have so many memories in that spot. We would spend many hours going outside to manage our “kingdom.” We had a lookout tree to watch for intruders, even a bridge entering into the kingdom, which was really just a fallen tree log. We also found a small curved tree to sit on that had low, small branches that you could wave like a fan at yourself. Of course, since our kingdom was made out of trees, we always were climbing them.

While we were busy adventuring in the trees, my dad would always be near the area, watching to make sure we didn’t fall or get hurt. He wouldn’t intervene, just did other tasks around the area while we played.

I remember once I climbed too high on one of the trees. I was so high I was scared to come down. In my mind, there was no way I was getting down from there.

I yelled to my brother for help. He answered my call from another tree and told me just to climb down. I told him I couldn’t. He tried to walk me through it, but I didn’t trust that I could do it.

I then saw my dad and called out to him to help. He came near the tree and told me to slowly try to reach the branch below me with my feet. I remember him saying, “Try to get to the lower branch. I know you can do it. Trust me, if you fall, I will catch you.”

After some more prodding, I finally started inching down toward the lower branch, but I couldn’t reach it and was too scared of falling. There were no other branches around it to grab onto.

My dad then opened his arms and told me to jump to him. That was an even farther distance away than the branch. “Don’t worry, I’ll catch you,” he said. After a few more moments of hesitation, I jumped.

Doesn’t this sound somewhat like our relationship toward God? We tend to wander off, doing our own things. We get so wrapped up in what we are doing that we don’t realize he’s always there with us, watching us. We only start to look for God when we face troubles.

And even when we face troubles, God isn’t the first one we turn to for help. We ignore the blatantly obvious help that’s always there and try to seek our own way or follow another’s way out.

But, when push comes to shove and all other options are gone, our heavenly Father is there. He patiently waits for us to come to him. He lays different options out before us to try. And then finally, when all seems lost, he opens up his arms to us so that we can get out of our troubles safely and be enveloped by his grace.

All we have to do is jump.


Johanna Leu, a senior at Manitowoc Lutheran High School, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, is a member at St. John (Newtonburg), Newton, Wisconsin.


 

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Author: Johanna Leu
Volume 105, Number 6
Issue: June 2018

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