My mother and I did some grocery shopping this week. I was pushing the cart up one aisle and down the other. Several others were busy with their own shopping. I noticed a young mother with a very little one strapped into a baby seat. Her toddler was walking alongside, his chubby fingers holding on tight to the wire frame of the cart. We met them often in our goings up and down the aisles.
Turning into another aisle, there was the young mother coming in our direction; but something didn’t look right. I stared at the picture of mother and baby. Where was the toddler? I kept staring, my gaze traveling up and down the aisle, hoping to spy the toddler nearby. I saw nothing. I could feel my forehead furrowing into a frown as my heart began to beat with anxious thoughts. Just then, around the far end of the aisle, there came the little one — running toward his mother! He ran halfway up the aisle to where his mother was selecting some canned goods. That half aisle must have seemed like a marathon to his eighteen inch legs. When he arrived at his mother’s cart, his hand reached up to grab hold of its wire frame. As he was running, I took note of the fear on his face. Understandably, he had been frightened when he realized that his mother was no where to be seen. However, as soon as he stood near his mother once again, those chubby fingers clinging once more to the cart, his countenance turned from fear to peace — just like that — in an instant.
Have you experienced times in your life when circumstances made you feel alone? Perhaps you felt that you had lost your way. You didn’t know in which direction to go. Fear began to take hold.
When those moments come (and they happen to us all) take the example of the little boy in the grocery store and run! Run to the One who knows you better than you know yourself. Run to the One who knows the direction in which you should go. Run to the One who gives you peace in place of fear. Run to the One in whom you can trust. Run to the One who never fails. Run to the One whose word is faithful and true. Turn your gaze from anything else in the aisle of trepidation, and gaze instead into the face of the One who is always there to take your hand. As God says in Isaiah 41:10:
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”