I remember those days long ago when our children were learning to walk. First they showed their readiness by pulling themselves up and taking a tentative step or two. My wife and I would reach out our hands and encourage them to walk toward us. We held them up by their hands or by the suspenders on their overalls. We praised every effort and encouraged every attempt. We never grew discouraged, nor did we give up until they learned to walk.
So it is with our heavenly Father: He “taught [Israel] to walk” (Hos. 11:3). He took His children “by their arms” and “drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love” (vv.3-4).
Our heavenly Father stands before us with outstretched arms, encouraging us toward holiness, eager to catch us when we stumble. He picks us up when we fall. He is never discouraged with our progress, nor will He ever give up. The more difficult we find the process, the more care and kindness He expends.
George MacDonald put it this way: “God will help us when we cannot walk, and He will help us when we find it hard to walk, but He cannot help us if we will not walk.” Even though you fall, you must try again. Your Father holds you by the hand.
Savior, let me walk beside Thee,
Let me feel my hand in Thine;
Let me know the joy of walking
In Thy strength and not in mine. —Sidebotham
We can’t run the Christian race until we learn to walk.