A child sees a tree as a challenge, a mountain to conquer. When he feels that he is big enough, that he is sufficiently strong, he promptly ventures the perilous heights of its branches. Up and up he climbs, fearless and determined.
But once he reaches the top, he stops and looks down and realizes just how high he is. In his careless ignorance he’s climbed farther than he meant to go. Unable to go on, and too afraid to start down, he becomes frozen and does the only sensible thing left to him: he cries for his father.
His father rushes out of the house at the sound of his child’s cry and, seeing his son stuck high in a tree, he fetches a ladder to help him down. As he climbs up towards his son he shouts encouragement. As he coaxes the child onto the ladder and helps him down he calms the boy’s fears with assurance: “I’ve got you. I won’t let you fall. You’re safe.”
Often times, I’m that child. I’m that child right now. I’ve climbed the tree that is college, confident that my ability will pull me through. But as I reach the highest branch, slow, and look down, I realize that it isn’t as easy as I’d first assumed, and the ground is so very far below me.
Afraid and overwhelmed, I cry out for help to anyone who will hear. Maybe God is calling out encouragement to me, meeting me where I am, and trying to coax me out of the tree and into His care, where He’ll carry me safely back to the ground. Maybe, like the child in the tree, I need to realize I can’t do this on my own, and trust my Father to help me.