It’s two o’clock in the morning. The darkness outside has grown thick throughout the night, and our neighborhood streets have become calm. Our house is quiet and still, while Kayla and I lay peacefully sleeping in bed (probably dreaming every young parent’s favorite dream – the one about getting to take a nap). Suddenly, we’re both startled by a worrying shout… “MOMMY!” In the split second that it takes my brain to process what I hear, and decide whether or not I am still dreaming, Kayla has already shot out of bed and is sprinting full speed toward potential danger. I quickly gather my wits and also run to the cry.
If you’re a parent, I have no doubt you can relate to the above story, and quite possibly have many similar experiences of your own. It’s in our nature to quickly respond when we recognize, or even sense, that our child is in need. When we hear that innocent, heartfelt cry for help, we spring into action. Why? Because we love our children. And, in instances like the one above, because we’re willing to sacrifice important things like sleep to be there in our child’s time of need.
Have you ever wondered why we do that? I think it’s because we are made in the image of a loving Heavenly Father who cares for us as His children. We know His ultimate sacrifice for us came by taking on human form, coming to earth, and dying in our place on the cross. The Hebrew writer talks about this in Hebrews 2, “[Jesus] shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death…and free those who…were held in slavery…For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way…that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” (vv.14-17).
Passages like this should make us shout “Hallelujah! Praise God!” But if you’ve been struggling to do that, I want to encourage you to keep reading on through v.18; “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (emphasis mine). The Greek verb translated “to help” is the word boētheō. This word can also mean “bring aid.” I find it interesting, however, that another definition for this word, and how it was used in the first century, is “to run to the cry of those in danger.” Hebrews 2:18 literally says that when we are being tempted, and we cry out for help, Jesus immediately springs into action! He sprints to our side and provides aid for our needs! Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Life can be difficult. Satan is relentless. But praise be to God our loving Heavenly Father, who is willing to run to our cry!