Such conflicting emotions … almost sounds like the lyrics to a song!
I can remember when my daughter was a toddler and I brought her to the mall for the first time to get some shopping done. Being a first-time parent at the time, I was a bit nervous about the solo excursion with her. But I was confident that the toddler bungee would keep us safely tethered.
We entered my favorite store, which I’m sure from a toddler’s perspective seemed massive and expansive. So much to touch and run through — much bigger than our local grocery store which she was so accustomed to frequenting. Certainly the sights and sounds were more intriguing than the boring metal carts. C’mon let’s face it, if we could peek into the mind of a 2 year old, it probably would rejoice at not having to see the same ol’ produce and dairy sections, right? Plus the joy of walking on the floor and not having to ride in the basket seat of that cart.
When we finally came to my destination, the linens department, I was so proud to be walking side by side with my tiny mini-me, as she obeyed my every stop and search. She even appeared to be helping me shop among the merchandise. I received the complimentary comments that most strangers say, “Oh, look at how well-mannered she is behaving!” I was so elated. So proud that my lil’ one didn’t even consider wandering off.
Then came time to get in line to pay for our purchase.
This is when things began to shift.
First, you have to understand the type of bungee I was using at the time. This was a time in parenting where people had begun to invent all sorts of creative devices to keep their children nearby and to prevent losing a child in public. I was not fond of the types of attachment gizmos that looked anything like a leash. I wanted to grant my child safe freedom to roam comfortably beside me within reach. So I was using a device that more closely resembled the old fashioned telephone cord. The curly-cue sort of durable plastic that coiled and sprung with her movement.
Okay, as we approached the cashier line, it was somewhat lengthy that day. It had been raining earlier in the week, so folks made a break for the stores when the weather dried up a bit. When we got in line, there were several people waiting their turn.
We were fine waiting with all the other customers until my daughter decided she wanted to start fidgeting. Then her fidgeting turned into dancing turned into ring-around-mommy … and suddenly there I was standing paralyzed, wrapped up in this coiled bungee. The cashier looked at me and signaled that it was now my turn to make my purchase. With several people now behind me, also waiting for their turn, I hopped … yes, literally, hopped towards the counter and laid out my items.
With kindness in their tearing eyes — customers were laughing so hard they were crying — a few offered to assist me with my goods to prevent me from toppling over.
I eventually managed to free myself by convincing my daughter to “let mommy be free so we can go home.” But that was not without the humor of a few helpful folks, “Well, mom, looks like she kept you from running away.”
Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting. James 4:8 The Passion Translation
Wouldn’t it be convenient if we had some sort of spiritual bungee attached to the Holy Spirit? It would certainly take the guess work out of where not to venture. But I tend to think that it would also remove our opportunity to exercise the gift of free will to consciously choose to do the right thing out of love for the Lord. So GOD allows for us to make an intentional move towards Him and choose to remain close even when the opportunity to run in the other direction is a viable choice.
While the Whispers of the Holy Spirit will always speak to our hearts, we must put forth the effort to voluntarily remain close enough to hear Him. That, my Friend, is the importance of maintaining closeness through study and worship. Those daily small things that we do regularly and faithfully out of love for the Lord, will ultimately yield big in the long run. Remaining close helps us to recognize when danger is near and to be on guard.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 New Living Translation
Like a toddler, there are those moments in our Christian walk that we may need that tug of the bungee. The protective love of our Savior promises to keep us safe — we just have to take that step towards Him in the midst of our circumstances and our emotional fluctuations.
And so much like a toddler, we want our ‘freedom’ to innocently explore and discover … but we also want our Heavenly Father to hold us close to His Heart to prevent us from wandering off. We find comfort and safety there, nestled in His embrace.
It’s in the surrender, Friend, that we are able to strike the balance. When we surrender our will to His, He allows us to freely experience and enjoy the fulness of His Love. And in turn, we are able to freely give back out that love to others in our sphere of influence. GOD will not suffocate us — He designed us for relationship with Him, not to be forced against our will. It is His Desire that we in response desire to be with, learn of and receive from Him.
I have come to understand that GOD Almighty only wants the very best for us. And like a parent, seeks to protect His children from harm. He wants to constantly shower us with the goodness of His Mercy by showing us Who He is so that we can make the choice to willfully be near.
When He turns me loose, it is not to cast me out from His Presence, but rather to impact the world around me, effectively using the tools He has loaded in my belt. Or even to bring in a friend or two to introduce to Him. He knows that I have no greater satisfaction than to be resting in His Arms. That is where I am restored and renewed.
Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5 Christian Standard Bible
Do you struggle with surrendering to the Lord? Pause now … right where you are, Friend … and invite the Lord to meet you here to talk about those things that you struggle with. I can tell you from personal experience that I felt more liberated and free to be the real me once I laid hold of the truth of His Promises and how GOD sees me.
He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. Titus 2:14 New Living Translation
If we are Christ-followers, Sister, then you and I are His very own People. The ones for whom He gave of His very life to save and redeem. And that is the true freedom we have in the Family of GOD. Free from our past life of sin, totally forgiven and free to love and be loved by Jesus Christ Who made it all possible.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary