Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Always Being There

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My family and I spent the weekend at the pool.

The Distance

At first, she wouldn’t step in the water at all. Overwhelmed by the splashes and screams and slides.

I grabbed her hand and gently led her in. First up to her ankles and then her knees. The water had a slight chill. Cool enough to be comfortable, but easy to get used to.

We made our way into the pool. The water was only 18 inches deep, but to her it must have seemed like an ocean. In the same way our bodies become accustomed to the temperature of the water, she acclimates to her fear.

Photo by Jérôme Decq (Creative Commons)

Her confidence precedes that moment every father wishes he could fight off. If only I could find a way to stop time.

She lets go of my hand.

The moment is brief. Perhaps a second. Nobody else in the pool even notices. But in my heart it lasts forever. This letting go.

She is only 4 feet from me, but it feels like miles. This distance.

A Time of Need

She notices the slide and grabs my hand once again. Her confidence gone as we face something new. She needs me again.

We climb the stairs up to the top. She stares down the slide. Timid. Uncertain. I  reassure her, and with a little nudge, down she goes. Into her mother’s waiting arms..

Her face is covered with a smile. Laughter erupts from her body, finding its birth in the deepest part of her soul. Blue eyes shining like stars in the moonlit night.

I am like the candy bar left in a pocket on a hot summer day.  I completely melt.

We rush off to do it again. I reach out to help, but she refuses me with a wave of her hand. She’s got this.

Once she arrives at the stairs, though, she looks back for me. I am already there. Ready for her to need me again. She reaches out and I grab her hand. Once she rediscovers her sense of security, she lets go and runs to the slide.

I am Always There

She never asks me to be there. She doesn’t even look for me most of the time. But when she needs help, I am there.

Though she doesn’t notice, I have always been there. I know when she needs help before she even asks. I know that she needs help even when she hasn’t figured it out yet.

My being there has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with me. I love her. And even though she lets go of my hand, I refuse to let go of her with my heart.

When she is frightened and overwhelmed, all she has to do is hold out her hand and I will take it. I will help her get to the top of the stairs again.

Jesus is Always There

Our day at the pool reminds me of Jesus. I am the small child too timid to wade in. He is there to help me.

Once I grow accustomed to the splashes and the cold wetness, I stop looking for him. I understand that I always need him. But I stop looking. I stop holding his hand. All I can think about is the water and the slide and the fun.

When I get to the stairs again, the scary part of my story, I find myself looking back. He is there to help me.

I reach out and he takes hold of my hand. He knows exactly what I need. He knows me and sees me.

His being there has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with him. He loves me. And though I let go of him, he refuses to let go of my heart.

I reach out, grab his hand, and then quickly let go, running to the next water slide. And as I go down, experiencing his good gifts to me, the joy on my face can only be matched by the love in his heart.

Have you found Jesus to always be there? Leave a comment.

 

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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30 Replies

  1. I love this, Jeremy.  I’ve had my heart melt over and over watching my 8yr old son become more independent over the years too.  It happens way too fast! 
    With my Heavenly Father,  I do much better in life when I make the choice to keep clinging to His hand and following His lead. 

  2. Sometimes we make following him very complicated. But it is that simple isn’t it? Just clinging to his hand.

  3. Sweet prose, Dr. Statton.  Love this!

    And, yes, Jesus is ALWAYS there…even when I am not.

     

  4. Great post Jeremy!
    HE’s always there–even when I can no longer hold on to Him!
    That’s when I find He’s holding on to me John 10:28-30

  5. Wow Jeremy, this is my new all time favorite post. Christ is always there,  sometimes I just don’t notice Him but he is ALWAYS there.  I find it AMAZING how much being a dad changes the way you look at everything, especially our relationship with God. 

  6. Great post, Jeremy. This is beautiful, and a great analogy to our walk with Jesus.

  7. That word Always changes everything doesn’t it?

  8. He holds on. He never lets go.

  9. What a liberating truth.

  10. Yes, I have found Him  faithful! Deeply patient and loving. 
     
    Lovely post and analogy. 

  11. Karij62

    what a beautiful and perfect analagy!

  12. agreed, great analogy, being a parent seems to bring about easy analogies for a Christian to understand God’s relationship with us :)

  13. Kvang71

    Beautiful story! I felt what you felt this morning when dropping off my daughters at school and feeling there kisses on my cheeks then watching them leave the cars and crossing the street to school. The youngest turned to wave at me while the older just looks forward. :-(

    I know one day they will not look back until then need me again like you said. But yes…I will always BE THERE too.

    Thank you.

  14. Great story and analogy. Yes, Jesus is always there. Unfortunately, I have found myself so comfortable going down the slide of life, I forget that he is there, until something goes amiss. But he is still there waiting, wanting to help. Thanks for sharing!

  15. A truly beautiful and moving metaphor, especially as I am preparing to become a parent.  Through this I couldn’t help but wonder what God must feel when we let go of His hand.  The sadness, the separation, the longing to have his child come back…

    If only I could hold on to His hand a bit longer, instead of thinking “I got this.”  I am forever humbled that he refuses to let go of my heart.

  16. Like the prodigal father, he is looking off into the distance, and when we come home, he celebrates.

  17. This was about my baby girl. I also have a 12 year old, 10 year old, and 8 years, so I have been through that as well.

  18. I love that we can trust how faithful he is.

  19. There will come a day when the separation is no more.

  20. Diane Turner

    What a stunning analogy. The photo is priceless. That look and the hand on the hip say, “Hey, world, bring it on!”  Thanks for sharing.

  21. I love how you always steer an “earth” story with which we easily identify to a higher level, to the spiritual realm.  God bless you for always reminding us that there is someone who is always there for  us.  Even though I grew up with Jesus, in my adult life I have been going through waves of love and denial. But never did He deny me, not even when silent and distant. A few years back, when, after my first emergency hip revision I was lying in the hospital bed hooked into all kinds of IVs, I heard a avoice announcing that “The high priest is coming”.  There, in the open door which was becoming one with the sky, stood Jesus, just as tall, bathed in light. He smiled at me and blessed me with His hand, then He disappered.  Or so  it seemed. Not sure if I was dreaming or hallucinating; it seemed as if I was awake. After that visit, He has never left me ever again…or maybe I did not go far away so He has always being close to me. It was He who made my 2-month stay in the rehab center  not only pleasant but a learning experience, an initiation and the beginning of a journey with Him on my side, in front or behind  me. This  has changed so many things in my life. From then on I have been challenged like never before; had to overcome hurdles I never had to face; I lost a lot, including people that I loved;  Yet, I always put my problems on His lap, always trusting that no matter what, He will hold my hand and we both will patiently wait for  things  to resolve. 

  22. Michaelholmes Mh

    Powerful story. It is really a beautiful picture of how Jesus cares for us.  The promise that He will not leave us nor forsake us. That even to the point of his near death, He promised us a comforter. He is and will always be there for us.

  23. Your comment is timely for me. I just took out an infected hip yesterday and I have been trying to encourage my patient in this exact same way.

  24. Diane Rivers

    This is absolutely precious and really touched my heart.  I love the parallelism of the father/child and Father/child.  I needed to read this today – my only daughter (25) left for a 5-week backpacking tour of Europe.  It never gets easier, this letting go.  

  25. What a beautiful line to write about your daughter Jeremy, how blessed she is to have you are her Father –  ‘I refuse to let go of her with my heart.’

    You are right, this is exactly how God sees us, He refuses to let us go, no matter what.

    This is a beautiful piece of writing, something your little girl will be blessed to read in years to come.

  26. It is amazing what both of my girls do to me.

  27. That is much scarier than the stairs.

  28. Aww!  This was soo sweet!

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