“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Those who know me well will know I am a planner. I like to know what’s going to happen, to be prepared, and organised. I like to feel in control. I love lists, calendars, just stationery in general to be honest. I think that’s one of the biggest things I have struggled with during the pandemic. There has been so much uncertainty, it has been extremely difficult to plan anything. On several occasions, I have realised just how little control I actually have, which hasn’t been the most comfortable experience for me.
During this time, I’ve had the privilege of being bubbled with my sister and her family. As I’ve spent time with my new baby nephew over the past few weeks, I’ve marvelled at just how dependent that tiny life is on my sister and her husband. Everything he needs, his parents provide. All he needs to do is cry out for them and they will be there. He has absolute trust in them and their ability to provide for his needs. However, I’ve noticed the older my other nieces and nephews get, the less reliant upon their parents they become and the more they want to do things their own way.
My two-year-old niece would quite happily spend all day every day in just a nappy (or less) and sometimes a pair of wellies. However, my sister wisely puts her foot down and insists that she wear weather-appropriate attire, particularly when leaving the house. Her requests for chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner are met with healthy, balanced meals, alongside the odd treat now and again. Stair gates and child locks on cupboards allow her to explore and play freely with less risk of her coming to harm.
These boundaries are put in place to protect her, to allow her to explore, learn, and grow in ways that are healthy. However, she doesn’t always see it that way and can throw a tantrum like only a two-year-old can. Like all growing children she often wants to do things her own way and cannot fully appreciate that most of the time, Mummy and Daddy really do know best.
How true this is of my life!
So many times, I think my way is best and want to do life my own way. I want to be in control, making all the rules, and I don’t always understand or like it when things don’t go my way.
The amount of times God has allowed me to fall flat on my face before graciously scooping me up, drying my tears, and asking if I’m ready to try it His way now. I am so thankful that God’s patience and mercy never run out (Lamentations 3:22-23). Just like any good earthly parent, He directs, shapes, and disciplines each of us for our own benefit (Hebrews 12:6).
Just like my niece, I am learning that true freedom is not found through doing everything we want when we want. Rather, it’s found within boundaries and allowing the One who knows best to direct and take care of us.
Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD!
Proverbs 3:5-7 (MSG)