This little baby is 14 months old. But the way she climbs on, under and into everything imaginable you’d think she was 4 years old or 14 years old. We are constantly finding her standing on top of chairs, step stools without holding on, slipping herself behind the TV where the cords and plugs are, pulling on things from the counters or tables and we are forever pulling her away from electrical outlets or from inside some cramped box and other dangerous and ridiculous situations.
The house has been baby-proofed and we are vigilant about keeping an eye on her but all it takes is one second and she slips into a precarious situation. I know she doesn’t understand the danger she’s putting herself in. To her, she’s simply exploring but for us we know she could end up bruised or with broken bones.
Sometimes I shake my head when I realize how many times I have to remove this baby from yet another dangerous situation. I wonder whose DNA she has that makes her end up headlong in yet another predicament.
The other night, I put up a barricade to keep her from behind the television that she managed to get through. And I was beyond frustrated.
And just like the Holy Spirit always does, He whispered gently: “You’ve ended up in some dangerous places yourself too. Don’t get too frustrated with her.”
I have to admit. I’ve ended up in some forbidden places in the blink of an eye.
Not the ones you may be thinking of.
I’ve not been in some other man’s bed or arms. I haven’t been seen somewhere that I wouldn’t want to be seen.
Instead my heart has been known to wander into the wilderness that God has warned be about time and time before
Lately, it's been the wilderness of worry. And I know full well, I don't belong there. The Bible warns: “Anxiety weighs down the heart.” Plus, we've been given a promise that God will always take care of us so worry is useless. Time and again, He's taken care of me--even as I worried.
There are quite a few other places that are just as dangerous that I've found myself in times past and some more recently than I care to admit:
I know no one reading deals with this one. But I admit I stumble into this forbidden territory far too often. The only way to kick this habit that I’ve found is to admit it to the Lord, ask Him to forgive, and then pray that He would help me to see my life from His perspective. Proverbs 27:4 says: "Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous."
This is a hard one. I don't know how many times I've cloaked forgiveness with avoidance or mock forgiveness (I can smile and nod at your like I've forgiven you but my heart says otherwise.) I avoid the person saying I'm protecting myself when I'm really just walking in unforgiveness. I recently read an excellent book on the topic: Unconditional by Brian Zahnd There really is a beauty and freedom in forgiveness that few talk or teach about.
Who hasn't been there? I think of all the times I've compromised by beliefs because of silly reasons: they'll think I'm too holy, it's not that big of a deal, I'm scared to stand firmly on what I believe. The scary party about that is that when we keep riding that slippery slope of compromise eventually the slope runs out and there is no more sacrifice for sin. "Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins." Scary and dangerous.
This is a tricky one. Pride is a chameleon that often masks itself. We often say we are doing something for one reason, but God knows the true motive. It can reveal itself in a myriad of ways:
- Acting independently of God. (Gen. 3:6)
- Being self-sufficient (I Samuel 2:3)
- Lack of prayer (I Samuel 12:23)
- Lying lips and cursing (Psalm 31:18)
- Violent behavior (Psalm 73:6)
- Patting oneself on the back when God should get the glory (Daniel 4:28-30)
- Boasting about the future (Isaiah 16:6)
- Determining the importance of a person based on outward appearance (II Corinthians 5:12)
- Praising oneself to others or subtly soliciting praise (Proverbs 27:2)
- Judgmental, critical, unforgiving spirit (Matthew 7:1-5)
- Biblical knowledge that lacks biblical love (I Corinthians 8:1)
- Spiritual adultery i.e. worldliness (James 4:4-10)
I’ve lived out a number of these sadly. The older I get the less I desire to live life on the edge. These days it’s all about living in the center of God’s will. So the next time I have to pull this little girl from some dangerous or crazy situation, I’ll use it as reminder that my heart has often been in the same predicament.