Sunday, September 22, 2013

Take my hand

I am spending the week with two of our grand children, a time of great delight and utter exhaustion. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking them for the afternoon to the library and out for an ice cream treat.

We parked in the busy library lot.  "Please stay by me," I said to four year old Maggie as I pulled her two-and-a-half year old brother Howie out of his car seat.  I had a huge bag of books to return to the library, two children, and the dilemma of every young mom, not enough hands.  Maggie "helped" me carry the load of books by holding onto one of the handles of the big canvas bag.  With my other hand, I held onto Howie, he who is oblivious to every present danger.  He LOVES cars, but at his age, he has no conception of the danger in running out in front of one.  "Just hold my hand, sweetie," I tell him.  He has no idea of the danger, just the excitement of being alive.  Everything is an adventure to him.

In the library itself, the kids RUN to the children's room where they enjoy a bit of "freedom" exploring the toys and computers, puzzles and books.  Even there, among what is age-appropriate, I sit nearby, watching them, playing with them, occasionally guiding them when they call for help, and  navigating them through the stacks of books.

They know there is a certain freedom in playing "in the lines," so to speak, that which is good and right.  There is tremendous liberty not in focusing on the rules that are designed to protect them, but living within them.  Selfishness, shouting, and throwing take away that freedom.  They would lose out by having to leave.

 Disobeying is not just about bearing the consequences.  Sin means "missing out" on the blessings.  

Good behavior and obeying with happy hearts did not just mean getting to play longer at the library, or even having an ice cream treat afterwards, but the deepening of our relationship, the "just being" together.  We had FUN.

And so, why do I squirm and wiggle when God says "take My hand" in this place of danger of which I am unaware, or "follow Me" through this strange situation, or "please help Me carry this bag?"  Sure, I could "do it myself," MY way, but just as I am unaware of the dangers, I am even more unaware of what could be.

For I, the LORD your God,
         hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you,
   "Fear not,
           I will help you."

                      Isaiah 40.13

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