I loved to ride horseback. Bareback was my favourite way to go. Round and round the field adjacent to our backyard I would ride, faster and faster. Often my dad would caution me, "One day, you are going to fall off that horse and get hurt, young lady." But being ten and pretty sure of myself, I would think, Never, not me!
One sunny afternoon in early spring, when the ground was still wet from morning showers, I arrived home from school, threw my books in the back porch, and headed for the horse barn quickly, so that no one would catch me and stop me from riding on a slippery day.
The field looked pretty sloppy, but with my confident, self-assured attitude, Susie and I were soon off to the races, riding as fast as we could, jumping this, jumping that, round and round the field, totally disobeying any rules pertaining to what not to do on wet field days.
Each time I went around the track, I noticed the earth becoming more soggy. During what I had planned to be my last great jump, my horse tumbled, and I was on the ground, remembering nothing until I looked up and saw daddy bending over me.
I was scared to death and a bit shaky, but with daddy there and with the touch of his hard-working but gentle hand, I felt safe and secure. Daddy carried me to the barn, where he checked me over to see if there were any breaks, cuts, or bruises. It was decided that I was as fit as a fiddle, but there was no more riding that day!
Daddy was always a loving father, but after seeing the fear on his face and the tears in his eyes that day, I realized just how deeply daddy truly loved me. I felt a deeper and gentler bonding with daddy, and that moment made me glad that I was his little girl and he was my dad.
Fast-forward three years to a fall Sunday night youth rally and a challenging sermon that ended with an invitation to surrender our lives to Christ and make Him our Saviour and Lord. I felt the strong tug of the Holy Spirit beckoning me to obey this man of God, and that night, in humble adoration, I met my Saviour, to whom I truly committed my life.
Immediately following prayer and commitment, I experienced the same powerful bonding with my heavenly Father that I had felt three years earlier with my dad. This time, I had received the gentle touch of the Master's hand.
As I walked home down the hill that night, the words from He Touched Me played over and over in my mind, and as young as I was, I knew that the heavenly Father's hand had "touched me and made me whole". I was a new person in Christ, and till this day, I never close my eyes at night without taking time to thank God for His goodness in rescuing me at such an early age, and being there to continually guide me and care for me through thick and thin.
Although there are those, for many reasons, who have never felt the warm touch of an earthly father's hand, God is waiting in love and compassion, ready to claim us as His child and provide us with the loving, gentle, and safe touch of the Father's hand that will make us proud to call Him "Father". Such a touch from our heavenly Father, whose love sent His only Son to die on our behalf, is the most precious blessing anyone will ever receive, a blessing that brings hope where there is despair, love where there is hate, joy where there is sorrow, forgiveness where we think forgiveness is impossible, healing where there is no hope for healing, and most importantly, the assurance of the gift of everlasting life and a glorious eternity with Christ.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)
Prayer: Eternal God, it is You and You alone who grants us the certainty of an eternity with You through the shed blood of Your beloved Son. It is to You we must turn and say thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, He who troubles our hearts, causing us to look into the beautiful face of Your Son, claiming victory through His life, death, and resurrection. We pray that those who love You will go forward under the guidance of Your strong and powerful hand, proclaiming Your glorious message and directing others to a victorious life in Christ. Amen.