The Lord will keep you from all harm— He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8
It happened almost 14 years ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday.
She was 13 months old and finally ready to take her first steps.
I was on the couch, reading, while she played with books on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. From the corner of my eye, I saw a swift movement, and held my breath while watching her get a hold of the ladder and pull herself up.
Ever so slowly, I put my book down and silently moved a little closer to the area where my little explorer stood. She turned around and opened her mouth, in a triumphant smile. Looking at me, she stretched her arms and rehearsed her very first steps. One, two, three… and fell into my arms.
I picked her up and danced around, squealing in delight. My baby girl was walking! I called hubby, mom, dad, best friend, and the Washington Post.
Baby walked! What a joy!
Even as I type these words, a smile spreads across my face. Some of my favorite memories rest on the days when my two girls started exploring the world. But those were also the days when I never rested. I seemed to be always on alert, following their every step. As they ventured into their brand-new world of mobility, there were dangers everywhere.
It was that marble table in the middle of the library, where I’d envision my baby falling, head-first.
Or that doll in the middle of the floor, waiting for a stumble-and-fall moment.
Or those dreaded stairs, secured by a portable gate – the one that came loose in my nightmares, sending her down the steps.
During those toddler years, I walked around, half-doing my chores, carefully ensuring that my girls were safe in their wanderings. There were times I ran to their rescue and they didn’t even know it. They went on enjoying their day, oblivious to the fact that mom had just prevented an accident.
And then there were times when I moved or removed things from their paths that they so wanted to handle, and yet, I knew it would harm them…
Pointy objects that would prick their skins… Mean friends that were not invited for a second play date.
As I watched my toddlers become children, and my children become teenagers, the story has not changed much. I’ve had to say no to several things they wish they could do, or get a hold of. In their eagerness to experience the world or be like everyone else, as a good parent, I have had to protect them from themselves… and from unseen dangers. Most of the time, they don’t understand it. They want something so bad, that it pains them when I keep it from their hand.
They don’t understand protective love. And probably won’t, until they become mothers themselves.
It’s the kind of Love that God has for us. Only on a much smaller scale. A love that protects, even when we don’t see it.
We sing about the mountains He moves when he heals, restores and provides.
But what about the Mountains that He moves and we don’t even know it?
Have you ever thought about that?
How many times do we become angry when something is removed from our lives. It could be a job, a person, or a possession. Like moody teenagers, we close the door of our heart and pitch an internal fit when it happens.
Some of us secretly think Him to be a mean Daddy.
How could you remove so-and-so from my life, Father?
Why don’t you give me “X”?
What we don’t realize, is that, in His eternal covenant of protection, God is often not only moving or withholding that person, or that possession. He is also removing something that would become a mountain on our way.
Or a stumbling block on our path.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. Isaiah 40:27-28 (Emphasis mine)
As children start exploring the world, good parents see ahead, and remove any obstacles that could cause them unnecessary pain. Some of those things we remove, would bring them temporary pleasure and joy, only to end up in disaster and pain.
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11
Our good and eternally protective God (Psalm 121:7-8,) moves mountains that our eyes cannot even see yet. That’s why Isaiah reminds us to trust His inscrutable understanding.
He knows our ways. He knows our weaknesses. He knows exactly where we will stumble, and fall away from His loving arms.
Don’t fight Him.
If God removes a pebble, even one that is precious to you, trust me – it’s because it would certainly become a mountain on your way.