How we long to rush ahead through life and control our circumstances, rather than waiting and walking with our Lord…
“Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.”(Jeremiah 7:23)
Years ago as a new parent, I often studied what the Bible had to say about raising children. Kids don’t come with an instruction manual, because God provided one several thousand years ago which is as relevant today as it was when it was given! The Bible has much to say about the direction and discipline of children, but there is plenty that God can also teach us through His tiny messengers of truth! Jesus used a child to convey an important part of his message when he was teaching, (Matthew 18:1-5) and he is still doing so today.
Living or working with small children requires rules and boundaries which often need to be repeated and reinforced. I have found that some of the most common instructions that teachers and parents repeat each day, serve as a reminder of God’s direction to His adult children!
There are many truths that I believe God wants to remind us of on our journey through life. In this mini series, we will be looking at six of them.
“Use your walking feet!” is a call you will often hear from parents and teachers when children need prompting to walk rather than run in certain settings, such as at school or the swimming pool. Running ahead or trying to run when the environment is not safe can end in trouble. If kids run when they shouldn’t, they can get lost, get hit by a vehicle, fall into the swimming pool or knock others down and trample on smaller children! When my daughter was two, she slipped her hand out of mine and ran off towards the beach when we were unloading the car, almost running into a busy road! Such was her hurry to reach the beach! Likewise, when my son was two, he also slipped his hand out of ours and ran off in a science museum, getting lost and causing a lock down! Children run because they are curious, excited to reach their destination, or because they are simply not listening.
Sometimes they run because they are frightened. When I was nine, I was afraid that I was being left behind when my siblings took off ahead of me across a busy main road during rush hour traffic. I panicked and ran after them without looking…straight into the path of an oncoming stream of traffic, resulting in a hospital stay and weeks of physio. Sometimes the fear of being left behind can cause us to run when we shouldn’t, or run in the wrong direction.
Like children, we adults become curious, overly excited, and even lost at times. We don’t always listen and we can easily trample on others in our haste to get ahead or to help ourselves. We are often in a hurry to reach the destination God has promised us. We push ahead and try to control and manipulate things ourselves.
God made a promise to Abraham in Genesis 15: 4-5 that although childless, Abraham would have a son and be the father of a great nation (the Jewish people), whose offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. But, instead of waiting for God, Abraham used his wife’s slave to conceive a son, (Ishmael, whose story is found in Genesis 16: 3-16), because she was unable to have children and was well past childbearing age. Years later however, his own son Isaac was born to his wife Sarah, just as God had promised, but there was suffering in his household as a result of his earlier actions.
Has God made you a promise that you are still waiting for? It is tempting to run ahead isn’t it? How we long to rush onward through life and control our circumstances, rather than waiting and walking with our Lord. God sees the path ahead. He leads and we must follow and be patient. He has our best interests at heart. We don’t see the whole picture as he does. Remember to use your “walking feet” and to listen for his prompts on your journey through life! Wait for him rather than skipping ahead and rushing to reach the destination he has promised! Ecclesiastes 3:1 says that “Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses..”
If God has made you a promise, he will follow through! 2 Peter 3: 8-9 says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise”
Unlike children, who do not have the discipline to wait quietly for very long, we Christians should be able to wait on the Lord as Lamentations 3 :25-26 confirms, “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
God’s timing rarely matches our timing. His ways are not our ways. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord in Isaiah 55:8, but he also reassures us that he has a plan for us. “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
You are right on schedule according to God’s unique timetable for you! Don’t slip your hand from his and run until he says you can! You do not need to be afraid that you will be left behind or miss the opportunities he has for you. He is willing to leave his flock and come and search for you, should you get lost or find you are having trouble following. He will carry you if need be. He has promised never to leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
God wants it to “be well” with us as our opening scripture from Jeremiah reassures. Notice that the requirement for wellbeing, is obeying his voice and walking in the way he has commanded. Obey and walk. Just like a child…His precious Child!
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your direction in my life. Thank you that you have a plan for me and that you see the path ahead. Help me to remember my “walking feet” and to follow you rather than running! Thank you that you walk alongside me every step of the way and will never leave me behind. Please protect me from thinking I know best, becoming lost or trampling on others. Help me to remember that there is a time for everything and that I am right on schedule according to your timetable for me. Thank you Lord, in Jesus Name, Amen.
Please click here for part two of this series.