A father and a son stand at the top of the hill, staring at the bike trail, anticipating the thrilling ride ahead, side by side. No fear, just the excitement of the unknown and the peace that brings the knowledge of being with each other, side by side.
A father, rejoicing in the promise of a bright future filled with the dream of seeing his son grow up in his presence. A son, at ease, in the midst of the turbulence of growing up because his father holds his hand; and even in the adventure of independence he knows it only takes a glance back to remind him that, always, close by, his father stands just a quick step behind.
But a choice of disobedience turned this world up-side-down. Man rejected paradise and now we walk in the enemy’s turf. The fall brought deep darkness, tears and despair, unknown before. The choice was made and the enemy was given a long leash to roam around, seeking his prey. We are not in
Actions of evil abound in this world, but the LORD is always on His throne. He is the God Who Sees; and nothing happens that He doesn’t know about. Nothing happens that surprises Him. He sees the pain, the agony, the fear, and He sent us the only one who overcomes. He sent us the Light of the World, who makes the darkness flee. He sent us His perfect Lamb, who was slain for us; and who is now high and lifted up. His Mercy is endless and He has given us another choice. He has given us the choice to receive the lamb and be washed by His blood. Only through Him we will overcome this world. He is our only protection against the attacks of the enemy. Only through Him we have victory. There is power in the proclamation of His great name, so when the enemy strikes like a bullet, in the blink of an eye, father and son are received in the open arms of the Most High. The pearly gates of heaven open up so father and son can walk in the streets of gold, once again, side by side.
A mother, left behind, with the memories of sweet dreams and lullabies, stares at the dry dirt and withered flowers of two graves that rest in the shade, side by side. Like another mother, long ago, whose chest was pierced with the pain of a beloved son’s unfair death; she cries. The tomb is shot. The stone is rolled. But the wait turns short. The son rises. Hope lives. Every tear is wiped away. There is no fear in love.
Because He is the Great I AM, and He lives we are able to walk through this valley of the shadow of death without fearing evil. The knowledge of His presence is the only cure for despair. For He promises us that, when we pass through the waters, He will be with us; and when we pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over us. When we walk through the fire, we will not be burned; the flames will not set us ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2). For as long as we walk with Him, hope lives. Even in the darkest of nights, and in the scariest of storms, and when we stared evil in the eye, terrified by the helpless knowledge of what's coming next, rest assured - o my soul - He walks with us side by side.
1 The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37: 1-3a