I love it when God illuminates Scripture in unmistakable ways. Truth becomes crystal clear and deeply meaningful.
This happened to me last night while I was out for a walk to clear my head and quiet my heart. I had a productive day with only minor interruptions – which is both remarkable and rare.
Unbeknownst to me, my son and a friend spent much of this time pulling out and randomly compiling the contents of our learning room’s closet (think sand, water beads, jewels, craft supplies, sensory bin items, etc.). I should have known it was too quiet for too long!
The entire floor was not only covered but piled high. I couldn’t even get in the doorway.
All of those items are meant to spark play, creativity, imagination, and they served their purpose well in that regard! But they’re not meant to used outside of one clear and non-negotiable parameter – ask permission first. Somehow that got overlooked as curiosity took over.
Natural consequences followed as they spent the last hour of their play time cleaning and organizing, without making much of a dent in the chaos. My son then spent literal HOURS of his evening sorting and repacking and only made it through half of the room.
I tried to stay out of the room as much as possible – both to allow him to grasp the enormity of what he had done and also to keep from over reacting.
Every time he needed help, I would enter to do the thing he needed. After a few trips in, I realized that I will be reorganizing every single thing in that closet. He is giving it his best effort, but I’m an organizer at heart which means I can pack a LOT into a space. He has no idea what boxes or containers held which items and his re-organizing is haphazard at best.
This knowledge is what led to my need to get out of the house, walk, and pray for God to give me perspective that would help both my own heart and his.
I’m reading through Deuteronomy right now and there was a truth that stood out to me as I read yesterday morning – God’s rules and regulations are good and fair (Deuteronomy 4:8). God graciously brought this truth back to mind as I walked last night.
I thought of times when I made choices that went against God’s rules because I didn’t trust his good heart behind those rules. I remembered the heartaches that I experienced as a result. I thought about how my perspective is often limited to the here and now. I have no way to know what consequences will result down the road from choices made today.
This is what my son experienced too – in a much more limited way, with consequences that are much milder and not as painful. He bypassed asking permission to use the items because of the thrill of discovery. He doubted the goodness of the rule that was only meant to give parameters for the use of the items, not limit his ability to enjoy them. He missed out on fun evening activities and a beautiful evening outside because of it.
As I walked and turned these ideas over in my mind, it caused me to be reminded again of God’s good heart. Yes, he is King. Yes, I must yield my will to his rules. But he is a good King with a good heart. I can embrace his rules knowing they will protect and guide and lead to an abundant life. I can trust that he sees ahead and desires that I avoid unnecessary pain, hurt, and confusion.
This is God’s heart towards you too. His rules are for your good. You may not understand them right now. They may seem confining or restrictive in some way. But look beyond the here and now. Look to his heart and know that his heart is good, and all his rules are good and fair. Embrace his rules. Trust his heart.