There’s a story about a man who was sitting on a riverbank one day when he heard somebody screaming for help from the river. Fortunately, this man was an excellent swimmer! So, when he looked up and saw a man drowning, he dove in, swam to the man, and pulled him to shore. However, as soon as he swam back to shore, he heard another cry for help. There was another man drowning. So, he jumped in again, and rescued the other man, bringing him to shore. Soon after, he heard yet another cry for help. He jumped in the river a third time and saved that man from drowning. This went on for five, six, and seven more times. He was totally exhausted trying to bring people to shore. He had no energy left, and yet there were still people in the river crying for help. He just couldn’t help them anymore. You could say that his “get-up-and-go” had gotten up and gone! He desperately looked up to Heaven and prayed, “Oh, God! Please show me what’s happening upstream.”
Sometimes, we try to deliver people without ever finding out what’s going on upstream at the place that is causing people to cry for help right now. Many adults are crying for help in their lives now because of things that started earlier, or “upstream”, in their lives. Much of the trouble in the life of a future adult can be addressed by parents who do their job when their children are young.
Upstream, in the beginning of a person’s life, God places children into families where they are to find love, acceptance, and value. Parents are the first line of defense for the well-being of life.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
– Proverbs 22:6