I love to take walks outside, especially when the weather is just right – late spring or early fall. There is something about nature that just draws me closer to my Heavenly Father. It never ceases to amaze me all the wonderful things that He has made for my enjoyment. Watching the way animals, insects and plants all interact in perfect harmony, it is hard for me to fathom how anyone could doubt that an all-powerful God made all of that beauty and perfection.
Walks are something that we enjoy as a family, and I love sharing that time with the people that I love the most. It is so much fun to teach my children about all of the wonderful parts of the world around us that God gave us. Scarlett, my ten-month-old daughter, is content to sit in the stroller or on my hip and just drink in all the wonder around her when we are on our daily walk. However, my two year old, Avy, is not so content. She wants to see everything, touch everything, explore everything.
I thank God every day that He made her with the beautiful spirit that He did, but sometimes her constant need to be on the go mixed with her neediness for mommy can make me one tired, frustrated mommy. She wants to hold my hand constantly while also still exploring everything . And there are numerous times when I tell her that she can go somewhere without me, but I’m not going. There are also times when I have to refuse to let her go where she wants to either for her own safety or my sanity.
At these times she usually ends up holding onto my hand while straining as far away from me as she can, unable to decide which is stronger, the will to go or the obligation to obey. It is at these moments, with her stretching my arm as far as it will go, that I see a perfect picture of myself with God. I want to hold onto His hand while still seeing just how far from Him I can get away with reaching.
My human nature keeps me constantly testing the limits of where God wants me to go in my life. Whether it is an explicit “no”, like watching a TV show, reading a book or listening to music that I know does not glorify God, or just a “not right now”, like taking a job that is good but not in God’s will for my life, I am always seeing just how far away from God I can get and still technically be holding on.
Everything in me knows how wonderful it feels to be right in the middle of God’s will for my life, glorifying Him and praising Him with my words and actions. There is no better feeling than to be in the presence of my God. And, yet, I allow Satan to use my human nature to drive me toward other things – even “good” things.
We all have that desire for something more, something wonderful in us. God made us that way, so that only He can completely fill us. But Satan has us convinced that there might be something better out there, something that we are missing.
Yet, just like I know that if I let Avy wonder out into the street alone the chance of her getting hit by a car is high while the reward she will receive, standing alone on hot asphalt with nothing interesting to see or do, is so minimal that it is not worth the risk; God also knows that what He has in store for us is so much better than anything we could ever fill ourselves with.
Somehow, though, I keep finding myself stretched to my limit to see what the world has to offer, while doing just enough to still be holding onto God. Lord Jesus, forgive me. Change me. Keep your hold on me even when I test the limits of how far I can reach.