Kids. They’re always adopting catchphrases, giving new meaning to regular words by organizing them just so, and repeating them over and over. Whippersnappers.
Our kids have been saying ‘I got you’ for a while now. Or, more specifically, ‘I gotchu.’ They say it to everyone: to their friends, their moms, even their friends’ moms.
When a person says ‘I got you’ it means I catch your drift. I understand what you are saying. Here, I’ll help you. I’m here for you. I’m on track with you. It’s no big deal – I can do that for you. I got you means all of these things, and is appropriate in many situations.
I sort of love it.
It’s a positive thing to say, I got you. It emits a feeling of fellowship, company, togetherness that we all crave. We all want to be seen and heard, to have someone stand with us or catch us when we fall, lending a hand when we need it. To be helped. There’s nothing worse than needing help and feeling too ashamed to ask for it, or having someone ask what they can do to help. When a person says I got you it means don’t worry, I see what’s happening, and I know what to do. We’re in this together.
It’s confidence. It’s positive. It’s community of the best kind – one person who gets you, who will catch you.
The trouble with I got you is that often, another person can’t catch us. Often, there’s not anything another person can do to help. The world guarantees that there will be things in each of our lives that no one can help us with. It’s bravado and false security, really, this I got you business.
I got you is when you want another cookie and your friend is already in the kitchen, or when you forget your sweater in the other room. It’s not when you find out that your child has a serious illness or if your husband decides that he doesn’t want to be married anymore.
Or is it?
The Christian faith relies on God getting us, catching us when we fall, understanding what we are going through. For every one of our life hurts, God says “I got you.” I understand you. I’m with you. I’m here for you.
He gets us so much that he sent his son to die for whatever ills we bring upon ourselves. He gets us so much that he weeps with us and lifts us up when we fall. Whatever trouble finds us, he can deliver us from it. No matter what it is. Every single time.
Now, look. God does not say that he will make our lives easier. If we go through a major life struggle, we may have to accept that there’s not much anyone can do about it. God won’t make it magically better before our eyes. That’s not getting us. We may have to work to make it better. We might even have to sit still and let him work within us. We may have to lean on his understanding of our situation to get through it. He can provide us with the wisdom for what to do, and until he does, he is there to lift us up. We just have to trust that he has us in his care.
And every time, he’s saying it.
I got you.
For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. Isaiah 41:13
I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. Matthew 18:19
And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Luke 12:28