Book-satchel in tow, I scrambled off the dusty, yellow school bus onto where the farm to market road comes to a “T.” Finally home, I was glad to leave the hand-clapping game in the front of the bus and the loud kissing going on in the back. My second-grade stomach grumbled loudly in anticipation of the brownies my mother promised to bake.
As I rounded the yard, I startled to see my daddy’s pick-up truck on the caliche drive. Like most farmers in West Texas, he worked from dawn to dusk and was never home in the middle of the afternoon. His muddy, Firestone tires reminded me of the recent rains, so I deduced he must be tinkering on some piece of equipment since the fields were wet.
Shrugging, I neared the back door until I heard a distinct, tapping noise coming from the back yard. Postponing my snack, I turned out of curiosity to hunt down the sound. As I neared our massive oak, I not only recognized the sound of hammering but stumbled upon an assortment of lumber scattered at the base of the tree. Surprised, I looked up through the branches to see my daddy’s face grinning down on me.
“Come on up,” he said, pointing to the make-shift ladder he’d nailed to the trunk. Dropping my book bag, I clamored over the blocks of wood, and up the rustic rungs.
Within moments, I’d ascended far enough to see Daddy’s hand reaching out for mine. With a swift tug, he pulled me the final few yards and onto the broad platform he’d built in the yawn of the branches. When my legs steadied, he urged me over to the sides of the treehouse to scan the shingles on our house and view the contents of his pick-up bed. He pointed out how small our dog looked from this angle and how we could see the land of distant neighbors, once invisible to us from the ground. Surveying the world from this vantage point was a delight, especially with my daddy.
Today, children whom God created can still hear their Father bid them come. “Come forth,” He says to all we like Lazarus, who realize our inability and hopelessness (John 11:43). From our graves, we stiffly hobble out of darkness, energized with a supernatural Life that is not our own (John 11:44; 1 Peter 2:9). Our only action is to embrace and faith His call, the muscle which moves us from death into Life eternal (John 5:24).
“Come follow,” our Father urges, asking us to leave where we’ve been, to experience a new beginning (Matthew 4:19). We may plod and stumble, but He grasps our hand to keep us from falling. “The steps of the God-pursuing ones follow firmly in the footsteps of the Lord, and God delights in every step they take to follow Him. If they stumble badly, they will still survive, for the Lord lifts them up with His Hands” (Psalm 37:23-24 The Passion Translation). What a promise!
“Come on up,” He reaches down to us, tugging us closer into a more profound knowledge of the divine (Revelation 4:1). No mere playhouse, our Father prepared an exalted place for us and created a Way by which we may enter (John 14:1,7). Our prayers ascend like the smoke of incense into the throne room of God (Revelation 8:4).
Jesus is not only the Door for those prayers (John 10:7) but reaches out to us when we make our initial ascent His direction. His firm, Hand of Hope, spans our inability, including for us even when we have no words (Romans 8:26). With determination and perseverance, we choose to dwell not on the things surrounding us, of which we merely see and touch. But, taking our seat beside Him on the platform of the heavenlies, we ask for His vantage point to see the reality of invisible things, prepared in heaven for us (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Our Abba Father so desires your company that He tailors His request just for you. “Come out. Come follow. Come up.” Jesus is calling. What will be your response?