Little Sister baffles me sometimes. She's so cuddly and sweet and full of smiles but...she's about to turn three. Everyone talks about the terrible twos and no one tells you about the torturous tantrum throwing threes. She'll be three soon and she's already showing the signs. By three they can speak well enough to really bless you out and embarrass you in public. I've mentioned before that we walk to school (when it's not raining of course). Big Sister is in kindergarten and I had all these Norman Rockwell visions of what that would be like. We'd wake up with birds singing, eat pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse, put on our cute new school clothes, grab the tote bag and lunchbox and walk to school, all the while singing songs, picking flowers, and waving to friends.Well...
Honestly it's not that far off. Really. With one exception. I wasn't factoring Little Sister into the equation. This child wants to sit on my lap, climb on me, and sleep in my bed. Basically, she gropes me all day long. Whenever we go up or down the stairs she insists on holding my hand. Now here's the part that baffles me. For some reason, when we're walking Big Sister to school and we get ready to cross the street, she WILL NOT hold my hand. She throws a huge fit and spends the entire time screaming, "LET GO ME!" (yes, that's "let go me" and not "let me go") and trying to wrench her hand free from my death grip. We go through this routine every day. I've even started leaving a little bit early just to deal with it. It now includes every parking lot. The church, the store, the park...whenever there are cars around, she refuses to hold my hand. Finally, one day I got down on her level and said calmly, "Do you see all these cars? They're very dangerous. You have to hold my hand. I'm going to keep you safe even if it makes you mad." I grabbed hold of her hand, squeezed tight, and dragged her across the street. We have to have this little talk now several times a day. I've shortened the speech to simply, "I'm going to keep you safe even if it makes you mad." Over and over. Sometimes, she will reluctantly and loosely take my hand and pout.
Last week, my Bible study was called "The Hedge that Protects". We studied verses that all had to do with how God protects us. When we were watching the video of Priscilla Shirer talking about this "hedge that protects" it made me think about Little Sister and me. When I'm wanting to do things my way, when I'm trusting in myself and not God, am I any different? How many times have I misread his protection for punishment? His rescue for restriction? How many times were there dangers lurking out there and when God stuck out his hand to me I threw a big ole tantrum and screamed, "LET GO ME! I DO IT MYSELF!" Or maybe sometimes I reluctantly gave Him my limp hand and loose grip and pouted the whole way?
I can already imagine how He might really bring this lesson home to me. I'm stuck in traffic and fuming over the hold up and then he condescends to me and calmly speaks to my heart, "I'm going to keep you safe, even if it makes you mad." I've once again gotten in the slowest line at the grocery store and while I tap my foot impatiently he whispers, "I'm going to keep you safe, even if it makes you mad." The refrigerator breaks down again taking all of our "fun money" and while I'm pouting over the missed restaurants and movies I hear, "I'm going to keep you safe, even if it makes you mad."
I don't know how it all works. I'm not even as perceptive as an almost three-year-old compared to God. I'm infinitely more clueless. Those speeding cars look like lots of fun to me. But I hope that more often I will trust Him. That I will grab hold of His hand, hold on tight, find security in his grip and say, "Okay, LET'S GO!"