Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
Virginia Rose, my granddaughter who recently turned one, has suddenly become a champion crawler. When she visited with us last week, I had to keep vigilant watch to ensure she did not get into or grab onto anything she shouldn't in our house as we are a far cry from baby-proofed. She has an uncanny way of knowing the things she should not covet and, as she is headed toward them, will stop, offer me a heart-melting smile and the queen's wave, and carry on toward her goal. This time, she was aiming for the lamp cord enticingly exposed under the coffee table.
"No, no!" I say; Virginia responds with the wave and the grin and keeps on going.
Too late! She grabs the cord and pulls it toward her. I immediately take it from her hand with another gentle, but firm, "no" and shove it away as far as I can. Then I pick her up, place her back on the blanket and distract her with her toys. She is now playing contentedly, but I am left to wonder if she really understands what "no" means.
I think God must wonder the same thing about us sometimes. We hear His "No, no!" warning as we toddle toward sin, but, instead of refraining, we give Him a reassuring smile and a wave, certain of His love for us, and convince ourselves: "It won't hurt just this once". But every sin, large or small, that we commit hurts our Lord just as impudent or unruly behavior in a child hurts the parent. If we truly don't want sin to rule over us, we must listen for His concerned "no" and obey. We must humble ourselves to be guided by His will, not ours, as He will direct our footsteps according to His word when we allow it.
Before I knew it, Virginia Rose was once again headed for the lamp cord. In lieu of intervening with "no!", I decided to see what she would do upon reaching it, anxious to know what she did and did not comprehend. When she reached it, instead of grasping it and pulling it toward her, she imitated exactly what she saw me do: she pushed it away!
Lord, help me, help us, to always push away sin and temptation from our lives. Amen!
Psalm 101, 109:1-4 (5-19), 20-30 or 119:121-144
2 Samuel 14:21-33