A father gathered his children at the start of the school year; "We are going to go on a trip this summer and we are going to travel the world.” The children were gladdened by the opportunity they would be given. Their father continued in giving his children instructions; “I am excited to take you all on this trip. I am going to require that you do a few things, though, so that I can ensure that you are focused and prepared for this trip. First, I want all of you to make grades that qualify you for the honor role. Second, you must attend 75% of you church meetings. Third, you must earn $300 so that you can have spending money while we are traveling.”
For many of the children, these expectations seemed difficult to achieve, but because they had a great desire to travel the world, they prepared to do what they could to meet the set expectations. Their father spent the next months reminding them of the requirements for the trip and offering great amounts of encouragement; “I want you all to be able to attend this trip. If you need help in making good grades, I will assist you with your homework. If you have trouble attending your church meetings, I will wake you up and take you. If you find it difficult to earn money, I will find odd jobs around the house for you to do. I am always here and I am always willing to help you.”
When the end of the school year came, the father gathered his children like he did months earlier; “Children, I am excited that we will be leaving for our trip soon. I know that you have spent months working hard so that we could all travel together and see so many new and exciting places. So, how have you done in reaching your goals?” The first child to respond said, “I made the honor roll and I attended 75% of my meetings, but I only could earn $150.” The second child similarly reported, “I made the right amount of money and I made great grades, but I just could not get up enough for seminary each morning.” The third child followed, “I tried really hard, but I was only able to attend my church meetings. I could not make the money and my grades were not good enough.”
The children were saddened as they looked back on their hard work to only see that they could not live up to the standards set for them by their father. “Well, I am sorry for you all. I know that the rules I set were hard to reach but you also understood that if you did not accomplish them, you could not come on the trip,” the father said. It was time for the oldest son to report on his progress; “Father, I knew that my younger siblings would likely fall short, so I did all I could in consideration of their ability. I not only made the honor role, I made perfect grades in every class. I also attended all of my church meetings, not just 75%. I even took on additional jobs and made $3000. I pushed myself to my limit so that I could make up for the shortcomings of my siblings.” Now, each child would be able to go on the trip.
Jesus Christ suffered so that in our faults and weaknesses, we could still be able to return to live with God our Father. The Father wants the best for us and therefore sets for us the highest standards. He understands our imperfections, though, and He sent our older brother, Christ, so that we are redeemed. In these things I have faith and hope.