Piggy-Back Living

Bible Book: Isaiah  49 : 22
Subject: Christian Living; Parenting; Children; Father's Day; Father

Did you ever ride piggy-back on your father's shoulders? I'm sure the mere mention of the question has shaken the cobwebs from the eaves of your memory. Chances are, your mind is reflecting back on some moments of personal interaction you thought the seas of time had erased.

As a child, I was extremely fearful of heights, although I'm not sure that I am completely healed of that still today. For whatever reason, I always found it a joy to watch a ball bounce around on my grandmother's roof. On this one particular day, the ball became lodged in her gutter. There was only one way I could retrieve it - to stand on my father's shoulders. The experience was both frightening and educational. Can you remember how, in the eyes of a child, the view was completely different from someone's shoulders? From such heights, could I trust my father's hands? Would his steps be sure? How long will this experience last?

What brought this memory out of the forgotten files of my mind was a passage I read in Isaiah 49:22, "…I will…set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders."

The aforementioned passage was written with prophetic promise to restore Israel from a period of captivity. Do you know what one of the chief problems is in America today? Our children are not being carried on our shoulders any longer. The picture being painted in that verse is one of making sure the children were put in a position to see the Lord's hand at work. A child that is not lifted high upon our shoulders is a child that will be swallowed up by the beast of agnosticism. I want you to take a deep breath, and reflect with me for a few moments on what it really means to ride in the saddle of our parents shoulders.

I. It Enlarges Our Horizons

Do you remember the reason why Zacchaeus climbed up into a sycamore tree? He could not see Jesus because of his small stature! If only there were more parents willing to simply be a sycamore tree in the lives of their children. In Jesus, Zacchaeus could see hope and he saw a future, but his vision was limited until he was lifted up.

How tragic to think that a generation of young kids cannot see beyond the huddled mass they stand among with no ability to perceive a future or to discern any hope. Have you ever thought about the view a child has that is left to walk like an adult in a crowd? When you cannot see where you are going, how easy it is to just get in line and follow the crowd.

II. It Elevates From Harm

I love the verse in Deuteronomy 33:12, "And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders."

Can you recall the feeling of invincibility you had riding on someone's shoulders? Much of the action we see from children today is due to the fact they are overwhelmed with fear.

I still vividly recall my first airline flight during a storm. I was terrified until the pilot took the plane above the storm.

  • On our shoulders, our children can see above the dark clouds.
  • On our shoulders, our children learn to live above reproach.
  • On our shoulders, our children learn to stand out in a crowd.

III. It Ensures Arrival Home

Recently, some words I read in Genesis 44:34 took my breath, "For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me?"

When you were a child, did your father ever sit you in his lap and "let" you drive? While our hands were actually touching the steering wheel, it was his hands touching our hands that guided us. While my children can never get to the Father on my salvation, by riding on my shoulders they gain perspective and possibility they could never have found if left to walk alone.


Although I am nearly 40 years old, there are still days I wish I could ride on my father's shoulders. What a breathtaking view. What invincibility and confidence I felt. Would you dare to be a sycamore tree today in the life of your child? From your shoulders, they might just see the face of Jesus.