I just got back home from a walk with my youngest daughter, Leah, who is three. After dropping Rivers off at school Leah and I meandered down to the neighborhood park near our house and then down to the pond nearby. There is a pathway that goes around the pond and when I asked her if she wanted to walk around the pond she said “sure.”
We hadn’t walked ten steps when she put her hands on her hips and said “we’re lost!” I told her that mommy knew exactly where we were so we were not lost. Leah has been on this same walk before but she probably didn’t remember it, so because she didn’t know where we were going she decided we were lost. We stopped to look at a baby frog and she decided that any log lying on the ground was a bridge. But it wasn’t long before she once again put her hands on her hips and declared “we’re lost!” I just had to smile…Leah has a bit of an independent spirit. So, every few steps on our journey around the pond she let me know we were lost and I would reassure her we were not. I repeatedly told her that I knew exactly where we were and where we were going so as long as she stayed with me she was not lost. Sometimes she would lag behind and much of the time she ran ahead. She would glance back to make sure I was still there, but I could tell she really liked leaving me in the dust! As I said, she has a bit of an independent spirit about her so I knew she was enjoying trying to lead me!
As I walked with Leah and watched her run ahead…as I reminded her every few steps that I knew exactly where we were, my heart was reminded by my own Father how we are so much like Leah. I thought of how if we are walking with Him, staying near to Him in our lives, then we are never lost. We may not know where the path is leading but He does. I was 100% at ease and confident that we would reach our destination. I knew every turn. I knew how far we had to go before we reached the park again. I knew it was best not to veer off into the high grass around the pond. I knew we should not get too close to the fence when we neared the highway. As her mother I have only what is best in mind for Leah, and I know how to lead her safely… as long as she will let me lead.
Whatever path you find yourself on today…ask yourself, is God leading me or am I trying to lead Him? Because if He isn’t leading then you may find yourself getting into the high grass or too close to the fence. You may think you know what you are doing, that you are smart enough to handle your life, but you cannot see the future. Only God can see what is up ahead. Only our Heavenly Father knows the safest way to lead us. That doesn’t mean His way is easy-breezy and all sunshine and picnics. But God knows the destination. He knows how to help you grow as a person. He knows how to meet your needs. He knows the path that will lead you to knowing and trusting Him more.
God is very patient, you know. He’ll let you linger to see the fish. He’ll help you catch the frog. He wants you to enjoy your life! More than anything, He wants you to trust Him and let Him lead. As we neared the park once more Leah quietly said ” I love you, mama.” Can I tell you how that touched my heart? We were just walking along and she said it out of the blue. She had enjoyed herself. I wasn’t a slave-driver intent on giving her marching orders. We took our time and she learned mama really did love her and know where we were going. It’s safe to trust her mama. It’s safe to love mama. As we started to climb the hill back to our cul-de-sac, she had grown tired and asked me to carry her. So, I reached down and picked up my little girl. This brown-eyed beauty with the spunk and independence finally needed me. She was tired and so I carried her up the hill.
Your Heavenly Father will take His time with you. He’ll lead you and teach you. He’ll show you the wonders of living. When it’s hard and you grow weary He’ll carry you. You can choose to live your whole life charting your own course if you want. You will probably be frustrated and tired for most of it. It can be lonely and depressing constantly trying to figure out which way is best. Or you can call for Jesus, wherever you are today. You can just ask, with a sincere heart, “Jesus, please lead me. I am so tired of trying to make my own way.” And then you can slip your hand into the kindest, most gentle grip you could ever know. You can take step after step with the trusting heart of a child, knowing as long as you stay by His side you are never lost.