I was recently walking a little boy down the hall toward his dad. The toddler wrapped each of the little fingers of one hand around a single finger of my own, focused on getting to his Daddy. He wants to be with Daddy wherever he is and keep him in his sight. As I was walking the boy down the hall, his Dad was calling to him, looking at him and smiling, “Come to Daddy.” He was walking WITH me, but I was clearly nothing more than his vehicle to get to his dad. Then someone stepped into the hallway between us and his father. The transformation on his young face and the tightened grip on my finger were almost instantaneous.. As long as he could see his dad, he was calm; smiling and happy to see him, but when that line of sight was obstructed, he panicked. With his dad in his sight, he walked undistracted, full of purpose, toward the one he knew to love him, the one he trusted. With someone obstructing his little view, he was afraid. His face twisted into a grimace and he let out a whine before beginning to cry. And did he cry! The one who had stepped in his way realized what had happened and stepped aside, but the child continued to cry until he reached his father. Only when he was in his arms, did the words and embrace of his father calm him completely.
Are we compelled toward God with such desire? Are we disturbed when things obstruct our view to our Heavenly Father? Often the issues of life “step” into our path even as we are taking steps to move closer to God. How do we respond?
Jesus understood the focused and faithful nature of children better than anyone and He uses them as a model. In Matthew 19:14, the children want to be near Jesus, a stark contrast to the so-called maturity of adulthood that obstructed Nicodemus from seeking Jesus out in the daylight and in public (John 3:1-21). When close to Jesus, the children were blessed. When we draw close to Him, we are as well (Matthew 5:6, 11, 12). Innumerable things obstruct our view of the Lord. They step into our lives and we have to choose whether to cry out to the Father, or pause from pursuing Him to be distracted for a time and drawn away from Him (James 1:14, 15).
We ought to take a lesson from the small child focused intently on getting to his father; to such an extent that he cried when he lost sight of him. If we call out to God, He is faithful to remove the obstruction, but if we aren’t all that focused on Him, we will easily be drawn away.
Recognizing the things that are distractions and temptations, and staying focused on the enduring truths from God, will allow us to continue to draw closer and closer to Him. James 1:12-18 accurately identifies the very real struggle to stay focused, but reminds us of the reward of drawing near to the Father. “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12) It is our own specific desires that, when dropped into our paths, draw us to distraction, and result in sin and, ultimately, relational separation from God (Psalm 66:18).
Steer clear of the lure of the shiny, the loud, the pleasurable for a time, and the evils that distract, divide, and ultimately destroy your passion for God and His people (Hebrews 11:24-26). We need to put aside, ignore, eject, give up the old life of John 12:24-26, and in doing so, we gain not only eternal life in Heaven, but also eternal relationship with God and an opportunity to live for Christ now.
When a distraction or temptation gets between you and your relationship with God, is your reaction instantaneous? Do you cry out to have it removed, your vision cleared? What is the expression on your face when you cannot see God clearly? Is it God’s Word that your grip tightens onto when your calm is disrupted? He is waiting, open armed, unchanged. Come as a child to the One you can trust implicitly and who loves you unconditionally. Come to Daddy.
Kim Moser is a pastor’s wife and mother of three who loves to disciple women, write, organize church events, write, entertain, write and spend time deep in the Word of the Lord. Kim is an avid writer and thoroughly enjoys quilting, gardening and . . . putting words to paper. Her desire is that the words of her mouth and the meditations of her heart are acceptable in the sight of our Lord (Psalm 19:14) and that she glories in what God glories in (Jeremiah 9:23,24). The Mosers have been friends of IBL for several years.