As I paid for my groceries and picked up the bag at the end of the checkout, a boy, maybe 8 years old, skidded to a stop in front of me, opened his mouth, and we both watched as his slippery and well-chewed piece of pink bubble gum fell out of his mouth and onto the floor with a soft splat. He instinctively stooped down and picked up it up, ready to pop it back in his mouth. His mom turned back toward him at just that moment and saw what he was doing. “Don’t . . .put that in your mouth!” She was alarmed! And me?
I couldn’t help but smile, but then I just flat out laughed out loud!
My kids are past the age of needing those kind of reminders, although they certainly haven’t progressed past the need for guidance along the way as they make other choices. But I do remember those days of watching, teaching, and protecting them from themselves. At least I thought that’s what I was doing. Somehow, in talking briefly with that mom, we reminded each other that most kids survive their childhood and we AND they usually aren’t too much worse for the wear. Plus, WE have the bonus of all those stories to recall and tell later in life!
God’s Word gives us loads of clues that He, too, keeps us in sight as we flounder our way through the various growth stages.
Psalm 121:3 reminds us that He is never asleep on the job, but is always watching over us.
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him” says the Psalmist (103:13)
Psalm 16:11 says he will show us the path to LIFE and in Romans 8:38-39 we are assured that nothing will ever separate us from God’s LOVE.
The most inspiring verse to me, though, is in Psalm 32:8 which says:
“I will guide you and teach you in the way you should go. I will give you good advice and watch over you.”
We know God understands us. But He also understands the way we parent because we are made in His image. We’re protective because He is protective. We shield because He shields. We love because He first loved us.
It doesn’t say He intercepts every problem or circumstance and fixes it for us. It doesn’t say he intervenes and makes the consequences go away. But He’s there always when we look for Him, pay attention and listen for His voice. He guides, teaches, advises and watches over us.
And perhaps occasionally He even laughs out loud!