When my kids were very young and we went somewhere, as we got out of the car I would remind them to hold my hand. I knew how quickly little bodies can dart out in front of moving vehicles before even noticing that they are there. It was in their best interest to hold my hand so I could keep them safe.
Sometimes they wouldn’t complain, but my request was often met with objections. Whining, fussing, sometimes downright obstinance. They would stamp a foot and cross tiny arms and tell me they could do it on their own. But in the end as I waited, they would lift up their pudgy little fingers to be placed in my grasp, then off we would go.
They were too young to understand yet, but their limited view between the cars in the parking lot made it impossible for them see all that was around them. I had a much clearer view of what might be coming just around the corner, and so we could wait or move ahead based on what I could see. They just needed to stay close, hold my hand, and listen to me.
This is how I believe our Heavenly Father wants us to walk with Him. We have a very limited view of the world and what dangers are out there just waiting to rain down on us. We are impulsive and might go after something shiny and new that we see without noticing what’s coming just around the corner.
God wants us to hold his hand. To stay connected. To listen to His instructions.
He has the omniscient view and can see clearly what is ahead in our lives. He knows our temperaments and how hard it is for us to be obedient when we think we can do something on our own. But He knows better. He wants to keep us safe.
As my kiddos grew older, they learned to stop and look both ways before moving ahead. They gradually became more independent, more aware of potential dangers around them, and more able to make safe decisions for themselves. They no longer needed to hold my hand.
Here is where the comparison ends. Because we will never be able to do life well on our own. We won’t ever be aware of all the potential hazards and pitfalls that may lie just ahead of us. We will always need the kind of safeguard that comes with staying closely connected to our Father and listening for His voice telling us when to move and when to wait.
So, after a bit of whining, stomping feet and crossing arms, I’m ready to lift my hands in submission to the One who keeps me safe. How about you?
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. Psalm 73:23