Existence is like a mother and her child. She gives him life. Without her, he would never be. But she is as much to do with his creation as with his survival. Yes, she sustains him physically by feeding and clothing him, mentally by teaching him, and emotionally by loving him. All this grants him the ability to walk. But her part does not end there. No, the child needs his mother even to walk without falling. He grasps her fingers and does not let go; she never leaves him, walking behind him as he chooses to move forward, one wobbling step at a time.
God gives us life. Without Him, we would never be. But He is as much to do with our creation as with our survival. Yes, He is like a mother, providing our every need, providing our every breath, that we may walk. If He were to let go, even for a moment, we would fall. We would cease to be. It isn’t that He has taken over our will, reducing us to mere puppets on divine strings—no, like a mother, not only does He grant us the ability to walk but also to walk where we will. He does not control us; He sustains and supports us. Certainly, He hopes we do not choose to tumble down the stairs, and He will try to guide us to safer footing, but He will be there with us if we choose otherwise.
Some may say, “Does not the child eventually grow up and find himself strong enough to walk on his own?” Well, here is where the metaphor fails, because the truth is that we will always be children. We can never walk on our own; we never grow up, in a sense. When we try to walk down the stairs, we stumble; when we try to walk on our own, we fall . . . because human nature is fallen. What we can grow in is this: learning to hold fast when we stumble and to reach up to His hands when we fall, He who is always ready to steady us, to lift us up from the ground, and carry on.