Walking with God

April 29, 2021

By Gina Padilla

Over the holidays, my one-year-old great-grandson came for a visit. He started walking a few months prior and was eager to explore every new thing on his wobbly legs. As he wandered I walked with him to steer him away from pitfalls like the basement stairs, and forbidden fruit like the television remote. As I turned him in a new direction he’d be off quickly, sometimes banging his head on the dining room table before I could reach him. Ironically, banging his head did not dissuade him from continuing to move everywhere. It barely fazed him and he’d be off again exploring on his own and trying to lose me as he moved through the house.

I offered him my hand and walked with him for a little bit, but he would soon tire of my pace, shake my hand off and move quickly hoping to grab something before I could stop him. I’d pick him up occasionally and walk with him, but soon he’d be clamoring to be let down and explore on his own. Sitting him down with his toys did not satisfy him. He wanted to explore every nook and cranny of my house without supervision. And he kept trying to lose me in order to get his way. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the time he left. 

A few days later I was reading a devotional that discussed walking with God.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

God goes with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. What a beautiful promise! Anything we’re going through God has already seen and He will be with us through it. Nothing surprises Him and nothing fazes Him. But how often are we reaching for His hand to guide us as we walk through life? 

When we walk on our own not seeking God’s steady hand to guide us, we are like those curious, willful toddlers who don’t understand that their parents’ hand is what will keep them from falling down the stairs, smashing their fingers in a cupboard or eating whatever new treasure they just found on the floor.

God doesn’t want to keep us from experiencing the fun of life but wants to be our guide. He wants to shield us from harmful things while we experience all the joy that life has to offer. This doesn’t mean that if we always ask for our Father’s guidance we will experience a life without difficulty or pain. There will be pain and sorrow in our fallen world, but by clinging to our Father’s hand we won’t be going through it alone and His guidance can keep us from wandering down the wrong path. 

We are so much like toddlers on wobbly immature spiritual legs, grabbing every shiny thing in our path just because we want it. Sometimes we’ll drop what we’ve grabbed immediately and other times we’ll shove it in our mouths not knowing if it will choke us, nourish us or poison us. 

“’Everything is permissible,’ but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything builds up.

1Corinthians 10:23 CSB

We may think we’ve landed the perfect job, met the perfect person or found the perfect house, but if we don’t consult our Heavenly Father and let Him guide us in these decisions, we could fall into an abyss of pain and sorrow. Just as the toddler doesn’t understand how dangerous the stairs, the stove or a knife can be, we don’t understand how dangerous life can be without the steady hand of God guiding us. We don’t know what the future holds but we do know that if we hold on to the hand of our Heavenly Father as we walk through it, we can face that uncertain future guided, steady and full of hope.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

Photo Credit: Priyanka Singh

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