What Role Do We Play After We Pray?


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 So they broke camp to cross the Jordan River. The priests who carried the ark of the promise went ahead of the people. (The Jordan overflows all its banks during the harvest season.) When the priests who were carrying the ark came to the edge of the Jordan River and set foot in the water, the water stopped flowing from upstream. The water rose up like a dam as far away as the city of Adam near Zarethan. The water flowing down toward the Sea of the Plains (the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. Then the people crossed from the east side of the Jordan River directly opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the Lord’s promise stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan River on dry ground.

Joshua 3:14-17

Trusting in God means we lay our requests at his feet before moving. Then we get up and take the next step, then the next, then the next. We take those steps no matter the obstacle we see in front of us. No matter the terrifying terrain ahead. We move expecting that as we move with God, God will move before us.

Each time our family has relocated to a new state, we’ve learned to trust God in a deeper way. We’ve learned that He is completely faithful. Each move God has showered us with rich relationships. Of course He would. God is relational. He created us to be first in relationship with Him, second with others. His desire is to be glorified in and through our relationships with His people.

Because of this, one of our top prayer requests since moving a year ago revolved around friendships.

I think sometimes we pray for situations then we simply sit back not realizing we might need to take an active role. Over time we see nothing happening and we become frustrated or disillusioned. We believe the lie that God doesn’t hear us.

We desire the miracle, yet we don’t always fully trust the Miracle Maker.

One of our greatest privileges as parents is to cultivate a wonder for the God of miracles in the hearts of our children. If my children develop an attitude of God as a far off God in the sky who may or may not listen when we speak, that will be a tragedy.

I delight with each opportunity to point the hearts of my children to their Creator. To teach them to watch and wait with excited expectation just how He will respond. And He will respond.

Sometimes to see God’s answers requires active participation. God created humans, not robots and puppets.

God invites us into His great big story. We have a choice in how we will play our role.

At some point a few months into new life in Nebraska, a friend invited me to a meeting about a homeschool group for teens wanting to serve the community. I showed up late to the meeting and quietly slipped into a seat in the back of the room.

I listened with interest but quickly discovered the dates wouldn’t work with our other homeschool group commitments.

I knew God had me at that meeting for a reason.

A woman sat in that meeting with her three boys. They looked about the same ages as my boys, who were not with me at the time. They seemed to be respectful and kind boys. I noticed they actually listened during the meeting rather than distract themselves in the world of phones. I wanted to meet this family.

As the meeting drew to a close, I wrote my phone number on a slip of paper and stalked the woman to her car.

She might have thought I was crazy, but the way I looked at the situation is like this – I’ve been praying for friends for my boys and here might be some. Now is my opportunity to actively participate with God.

I caught up with this woman in the parking lot, told her we had just moved to Nebraska, were fairly new to homeschooling, and we’d love to have their family over.

Then she and I actually followed up with each other. We invited them over. They came. Then another outing and another. Fast forward many months and this family, and these boys, have become friendships we absolutely treasure.

This is what I want my boys to see. God is a God of abundance. He does nothing on a small scale. Everything He does is miraculous and other-worldly. We can expect with 100% confidence that when we ask according to His will, He will respond with a resounding YES.

Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.”

1 John 5:14-15

When we asked for rich friendships, we already knew God said yes. The exciting part is waiting and watching as His yes after yes unfolds.

The day I met my new friend, I came home elated. Not because I knew I had a new friend (though this was exciting to be sure) but because I had just tasted the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

Psalm 27:13

Nothing lights my fire like seeing God at work. Nothing.

When my faith fire dwindles, all I need to do is blow on that flickering flame with my whispered request. He answers by setting that fire ablaze all over again. Those sparks spread to my family.

I view my primary role as mom to be teaching my children to know God truly. Not the version the world has created, but the actual One True God. The only God. Yahweh.

The way to know Him is through His Word. First and foremost. The Word is first a story of who God is. Once we meet Him there, it’s easy to see Him everywhere in our world.

And so on a Friday night, a year into moving across the country, Steve and I sat on the sofas of our family room. I curled with a book listening with contented peace to the loud ruckus in the basement as 6 boys played ping pong, basketball, wrestled, ate pizza and brownies, and ended their night with a movie.

I marveled at the graciousness of God.

When God, with supernatural speed, brought us a buyer on our North Carolina home, He blessed us with a home in Nebraska with a basement of our dreams that we knew exactly what to do with. That basement and this home would be a place to invite people in as often as they would say yes. To fill it with love and laughter, gifts from our Father. To have a home to graciously and generously show the love of the Father.

The key in parenting is connecting the dots of God for our kids until they learn to do this on their own. Actively participating with God is drawing it out for them until they learn to connect their own dots.

“Boys, remember how we prayed and have continued to pray for friends? Well, think back to how we met this family to begin with. We prayed, but then we had to take a step. We had to place ourselves in places where we’d want to meet friends. And then when we noticed people the Lord was divinely bringing our way, we had to step again.”

I explained to the boys that the day I followed my friend to her car, I could have simply left the meeting that day, never crossing paths with her again. I wouldn’t know what I had missed. It makes me never want to miss an opportunity the Lord puts in front of me.

He answered my prayers for friends by nudging me to the meeting, bringing our families together, but it took a step only I could take to bring it to fruition. How cool is God?

This is what I desire my kids know. God is real. He is alive and active. He inclines His ear toward us. He desires to pour out His blessings.

If only the whole world knew the God He really is. I can’t change the world, but I can influence the very ones He has placed in my life. For as long as I have breath, I will proclaim His goodness.

“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits–“

Psalm 103:2

I have created a tool to help our souls forget not all His benefits. Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word releases soon. You can find more information here including a video trailer. Illuminate is for us all. Women, men, and parents who desire to remember who the Lord is. It’s to encourage us to create the discipline of keeping our eyes fixed on who God is. Practicing the art of remembrance.

In our home, we’ve used this as a time of family devotion. Gathering in the family room and listening together. Continuing the conversation throughout the week.

It’s 14 days that I believe will change your life. It’s changed mine because it’s gotten me into His Word to seek out His character as revealed by Him.

“Renee Robinson has used her gifts to bring us one – a 14 day primer for anyone desiring to go deeper as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Unwrap it and be blessed.”

–Tara McClary Reeves, speaker and author of Is Your Dad a Pirate and Point Me to Jesus.




When I was too angry to pray


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During the summer my boys wake up to the dogs pouncing on their bed, slobbering kisses all over their faces. No annoying blaring alarm clocks, or worse, no annoying mom repeating ‘get up and hurry’. I found the key to boys rising from bed in a pleasant mood. Let the dogs be the alarm and quickly mention the breakfast menu.

The morning was typical, nothing out of the ordinary. Bristol and Macy, our Schnoodles, jumped on Andrew’s head and licked his face mercilessly. He laughed through eyes clenched tightly shut, not ready to come fully awake. His hands groped to find the dogs and pull them close into him.

I made mention of food, he hopped out of bed, we chatted happily down the stairs. All so normal. He plopped into a chair, and his eyes kind of glazed over. I kept chatting about nothing in particular. I caught sight of his face again and took pause. Right before my eyes, I watched his facial expression transform from happy to downright mad. He turned to me and said, “Why are you making me turn into a bad attitude?”

Inside my head I screamed. Inside my head I stomped my feet and pounded my fists. Inside my head I railed at God, “Why???? Seriously, why? I did everything as ‘right’ as I could. Why does he have to be so difficult at times? Can’t we have one morning of peace here?”

I turned to Andrew, and with all the calm sweetness I could muster, I answered, “Andrew, I’m not turning you into a bad attitude. You are in control of your own attitude, not me. You are the boss of your attitude.” (Side note, I found a trick with a strong willed child. Show them what they are in control of that can be used for good. On this day, it didn’t work.)

The other boys came down the stairs expecting the same chipper mom they’d seen minutes earlier. Instead they found a snappy, irritated crazy woman just wanting some peace in the morning. There are times I hear God’s still small voice, and there are times I silence Him. He likely whispered to me, “Remember how you told Andrew that he is control of his own attitude? Well, you are too, my daughter.” I didn’t hear it, didn’t want to hear it. I wanted Andrew to fix his behavior and that was that. We forged on.

We had 2 friends arriving at our house for VBS carpool. (Side note- it’s a week of double VBS. A morning VBS at another church and evening VBS at our own church where I’m also volunteering. What’s about to go down happened not at our home church.) I loaded 5 boys in the car and we set out. Andrew continued to be difficult and disrespectful. Handling right in the moment was difficult as we were running late and had a couple of extra kids. So I just held my breath and hoped by the time we arrived, he’d snap out of his funk.

The check-in girl greeted me with the most cheerful smile. Jealousy told me that she likely hadn’t dealt with what I’d dealt with that morning. She printed off name stickers, I passed them out to each boy, Andrew looked up at me with defiant eyes, ripped off his name tag, placed it on the ground, stomped on it, looked back at me with defiant eyes, crossed his arms, and loudly proclaimed, “I’m not going to sports camp today!”

I glanced around wondering how many moms were staring at me, how many were thinking I had the biggest brat on the planet, and how many wondered if I knew how to parent at all. Been there before? I knelt down, pulled his ear to my lips, and said, “Yes you are. Now let’s go.”

He followed me down the hall and up the steps ranting, “I’m not going. You can’t make me. I hate this place. I hate everything.” Ya’ll it was humiliating. Mamas passed by holding babies and toddler hands. I listened to sweet sentiments shared. I listened to mamas using gentle tones and watched as they planted tender kisses on the heads of their angels. And all I kept thinking was, “Just wait til they get older.” Real spiritually mature, right? Super Christ-like. I was angry. Angry because my child turned into this totally different person in an instant, and I was powerless to control his heart and attitude.

Again, I silenced God’s still small voice. I bet He whispered to me, “Daughter, I love you. Love my son well, shower him with grace and mercy. Speak gently to him. Pray and let me take over here. I don’t want you to do this alone. I want to do it with you.”

Nope, I put my hand up. Didn’t want to hear it. We got to his hallway, he stopped, crossed his arms, I carried on. His teacher greeted me with a super chipper smile. I told her he refused to enter. I thought back to the baby/toddler days when I could physically place them in another’s arms crying and walk away knowing all would be well. I realized that I physically can’t place a 52 pound 6 1/2 year old in the arms of anyone without endangering their life. My anger began to boil. I was powerless. I had no control. I asked her if he had behaved. She looked surprised at my question. “Andrew? He’s behaved perfectly. There are others we’ve had to get on to, but not him.” Lovely.

I marched back to Andrew, knelt down, through gritted teeth I said, “Fine, let’s go home. You win. But this will be one of the worst days ever! You will not behave like this and come home and play and have a day with mommy. You will sit in your room all day, no toys, nothing. This day will be so boring, you will wish you’d stayed at camp.” I’m not proud of this moment. I wish I could erase it.

His stubborn eyes met my stubborn eyes. “I don’t care.” We proceeded to the car. I passed a sweet friend and spewed my frustration on her, she gave me a hug, I drove home and placed Andrew in the guest room, which lacks toys and books.

God tapped my shoulder. “Pray, daughter. Pray.” I told God no. I couldn’t pray. I was too angry to pray. I wasn’t in a holy frame of mind to pray. I just wanted to be angry, and I wanted to get my way. Oh, sin. Sin that is always crouching at my door. An enemy always waiting to attack and knock us off course.

I texted a friend, she asked if I could talk, I called her and cried. Cried. I told her it’s exhausting parenting a strong-willed child. I cried that if he acts like this at 6, what will 15 look like. The longer I talked, the more I realized the roots of my anger. Fear. Fear of Andrew following a path that leads to destruction. My fear makes me hold tight and try to control his behavior. And when I see how powerless I am, so many of my sins come spewing out like a volcano. I hold them down and keep them dormant until something shakes them awake.

I hung up the phone and sat in silence. I felt God tapping me again asking me to pray. I told God I needed to calm down first. God did what any good parent does. He got creative. If asking me to pray isn’t working, He’d try another method to get me on my knees. I walked around the corner and saw Andrew standing in the hall.

“You are not to come out of your room.”

“Mommy, I need God to help me be a good behaver.”

“Yes, you do. You need to pray that God helps you to behave.” I love that God is kind and compassionate. He didn’t blast me by telling me I’m a hypocrite and how could I tell my kid to pray and ask for help when I myself couldn’t do the same thing. Instead, God works on our hearts.

“Mommy, but I need you to come and pray with me and to help me ask God to help me.”

I didn’t even realize God was working to get me on my knees. In fact, my pride stayed puffed up as I thought to myself, ‘Good, glad God is working on Andrew.’

We got on our knees, bowed our heads, I placed my hand on Andrew’s leg, and I began to pour my heart out to God. As I prayed, I physically felt God softening my heart. I physically felt God lifting my burdens and removing my fears. I felt the walls of pride and fear crumble. And my prayers changed. I prayed for us both.

As I prayed, I could hear God telling me that just like I want Andrew to obey me, God wants me to obey Him. When He asks me to pray, He wants me to obey. He doesn’t want me to wait until I feel like it. That may never happen, and then I lose out on unleashing God’s power to change the course. I felt God reminding me that just like I became angry over Andrew’s attitude, which led to his disobedience, I myself had allowed my circumstances to control my attitude, which led me to disobey God.

My bad attitude clouded my vision. My bad attitude placed foolishness where wisdom wanted to reside. My bad attitude caused me to disobey. Just like Andrew’s bad attitude caused him to disobey.

Andrew is no different than me. He is a sinner just like me. Because he’s accepted Jesus as his Savior, he is forgiven just like me.

I continued praying with Andrew something like this, “God, just like we are learning in VBS this week, help us to follow you wherever you lead us, help us to trust you no matter what, and help us to stay on track by keeping our focus on you and not our circumstances. Lord, your Word tells us whenever we turn to the right or to the left, we will hear in our ear this command behind us saying this is the way, walk in it. Isaiah 30:21.

I left Andrew’s room feeling like a new person. I felt free. The weight of my sin had been lifted. I laid it down in prayer. I’d asked God to forgive me, and His Word assures me He always forgives.

The rest of the day my eyes were open to the gifts He had in store for me. Gifts I might have missed if I’d continued in my disobedient path.

Here’s a sampling of the gifts I received – Andrew came out of his room a new person as well. He looked at me with the most tender eyes, eyes completely opposite of the ones that stared back at me defiantly only hours before. He said, “Mommy, I love you so much. From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. Thank you for praying with me.” My heart melted, but at the same time I couldn’t help but wonder if he was simply manipulating me. He grabbed me in the tightest hug I’ve received in months and held tight. I whispered thank you to God over and over in my head. Andrew never hugs me anymore. This was a gift from the Lord.

I told Andrew that I forgave him and there is nothing he could ever do that I wouldn’t forgive and reminded Him of the kind of forever forgiveness of God. I followed it up with, “But you still must stay in your room today.”

“I know, mommy, I don’t want to come out. I just wanted to hug you and tell you I love you.”

Another time in the day, he showered me with kisses. I can’t remember the last kiss I got from him. One day when he was 5 he decided he didn’t like kisses, and they came to an end. His kisses were a gift from the Lord.

Somehow I managed to clean my entire house from top to bottom in super record time. A gift from the Lord.

I had incredibly rich conversations with Jacob later in the day. A gift from the Lord.

All 3 of my boys fell asleep for 2 to 3 hours that afternoon, and I had the peace I desperately wanted that morning. This time God freely gave me that peace when He allowed all boys to fall exhausted into bed in  the middle of the day. (It’s a week where the boys are in a sports VBS in the morning then we all go to our VBS at our own church where I’m also teaching. So we are a little more tired than normal.) Sleep and peace – a gift from the Lord.

When Andrew was allowed to emerge from his extended time out later that day, he was a transformed little boy. It was true, genuine change that ONLY the Holy Spirit can accomplish. A gift from the Lord.

This time I could hear that still small voice of the Lord speaking to me. I believe He said something like this, “Daughter, I have the power to change a heart, an attitude, and a mind. And when I change it, it is true and right. When you hold tight out of fear and try to control your circumstances around you, you will wear yourself out and you will not get the results you want.”

When I finally prayed, God’s power unleashed in our home. Everything looked different.

I know I will forget this lesson. I know I will find myself directed by fear rather than walking in obedience again at some point. I also know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me enough to enter into every tiny detail of my life. Down to giving me kisses through my 6-year-old that I’ve longed for.

Later that night I tried to talk to Andrew about our day again. I wanted to get to the root of his refusal to go to the morning sports VBS camp. I explained that it was never about me forcing him to go to something he didn’t enjoy, but it was his attitude and behavior that I disciplined. I told him that if he didn’t like it, he didn’t have to go back. He responded, “No, mommy, I like it. It was just my bad attitude.”

I nodded. I get it. My bad attitude makes me behave in ways that I am later ashamed of. Going forward I hope to remember this lesson quicker and pray in the middle of my bad attitude so God can change my heart before I walk in disobedience to Him.

As I lay in bed that night I thought back to the day. God blesses obedience. I know this to be true. God showed me that day when I let go of the reigns of my life, and surrender my need to control, and invite Him into the details, everything changes. When I became obedient, God worked out what I was powerless to work out. The rest of the day rained blessings I might have missed if I’d continued in the path of disobedience.

Parenting for me is more about learning how my Father loves me and cares for me more than it is training and loving my own children. He never stops parenting us. Often these lessons come to us through our very own children.

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When We Stop Trying To Figure God Out


Before I began writing, I was a CPA. I still have that side of my brain, the part that wants to analyze, categorize, and finalize.  I want to look at life and see the full circle.

Typically, whatever I’m experiencing, I’m looking for what God is doing in it and through it. “Oh, that’s why that happened.” “Maybe God is doing this so that….” “I think God allowed this so that…”  Basically I’m trying to figure God out all the time. I want to understand God’s work in my life.

Sometimes I see how the different pieces of my life fit together, but sometimes I don’t. I look for what He is doing in the life of my children, my husband. I look at the problems we face, and I look for the reasons, the pieces that when put together can make it all make sense.

When Steve and I were younger (we’ve been together since middle school), he was quite the jokester. He still can be that way. But I was gullible and believed anything, and he got a real kick out of seeing what he could get me to believe. Then we would laugh at my naiveté. We’ve grown up. A little.

When he wanted me to really believe him, he would say, “Just trust me.” Not once did he ever ask me to trust him when he was actually kidding. He honored that phrase and held to his word.

Because he never broke my trust when he asked me to place my trust in him, he earned my forever trust.

God asks me to trust Him every second, every minute, every hour of my life. Unlike a boy or a man, God is incapable of lying to me because God is truth. God is faithful.

At times trusting God is easy. At other times it seems near impossible. The task is too large. The problem is unsolvable. The history is too extensive. The wounds are too deep.

No matter what we face, God whispers, “Just trust me.” Just trust me.

It’s simple, right? All we have to do is trust. He does the rest. Might not look the way we planned, but He is always good and right. The pieces might not fit the way we are attempting to fit them together.

A few weeks ago, my soul seemed more restless than normal. I could sense God telling me to still my soul, to calm my anxious mind, to simply trust Him with every detail of my day.

Maybe that is how my soul gets still. When I stop trying to figure God out. When I stop trying to see how all the pieces of my life fit together in one neat, tidy picture. I can’t see what God sees. Some of my pieces fit into the lives of others I can’t see, and so do yours. On our end, we will have incomplete pictures, but from God’s view, it’s a perfectly complete picture. Beginning to end, what we can’t see.

I vowed to stop the constant figuring out of God and to begin trusting Him more. On my own power, I can’t last long. Each morning I’m asking Him to help me simply trust Him. To hold up my hands in surrender to the analyzing ways I’m prone to and go back to the days I believed anything, but this time I want to believe that with God anything is possible. Even trusting Him with every detail of my life.

Isaiah 55:8

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.


Romans 11:33-34

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?

Max Lucado writes in Before Amen, “In our desire to understand him, we have sought to contain him. The God of the Bible cannot be contained.”

I think I’ll stop trying to figure God out now. Like a simple, once gullible girl, I’ll choose to simply trust.

Trusting Him leads to deep soul rest. Deep, deep soul rest. I can let go of the need to understand, for only He sees it all. I don’t need to understand everything. I just need to trust Him. He is God, and I am not.

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When Fear Makes Us Miss What’s Best


Two weeks ago our family took a trip to Orlando to see the Atlanta Braves Spring Training. We surprised the boys with an unexpected day at Disney on one of the off game days.

We arrived at the front gate before the sun had fully risen, one of the first to enter the opening gates. About 3 minutes into walking down Main Street at Magic Kingdom, Andrew moaned, “When can we finally go home?!”

My head whipped around as I looked at him astonished. “We JUST got here. This is Disney. It’s SO MUCH FUN!”

Here we go again, I thought to myself. This is not at all how this is supposed to happen. What kid isn’t thrilled at walking the streets of Disney? Look at all these other kids – smiling, happy, jumping with delight. And look at my child – sulking, pouting, clearly unhappy to be in this place where dreams come true.

As we made our way to Tomorrowland, we each took a turn selling Andrew on our day ahead. Arms crossed, arguing with everything, refusing to ride or even enjoy himself was his response to us.

Our saving grace was grandma, who sat with him while we rode rides. Once we promised him we would call grandpa to come pick him up, he was fine. He wanted out of magic land fast.

Apparently, Magic Kingdom isn’t magical for everyone.

Once his mood began to offer a glimmer of hope at lifting, my anxiety began to wane a bit. I tried desperately to squash the reminders in my head about how much money we wasted on his ticket. I tried to look for anything that would help me from speaking to him with such a frustrated tone of voice.

It wasn’t simply that Andrew wanted to be difficult. It wasn’t as if his 6 year old brain determined to ruin our day. It was fear. Simply fear.

Andrew fears rides. He can’t handle the thought of being strapped into a ride and losing all sense of control. Locking himself into a situation where he relinquishes every ounce of control and placing himself at the mercy of mechanics is not his idea of adventure.

As we walked along, Jacob said, “Mom, I’m so just sad for Andrew. I’m sad because he has no idea what he is missing. We know what he is missing. He will go home and never know how much fun he could’ve had today.”

“That is what fear does to us. It causes us to miss out on surprises God has for us, and we never know what could’ve been.”

[Tweet “When fear wins, we never know what could’ve been.”]

The fact is fear wins in my life everyday. In little ways, ways I fail to see most days. I wonder what I miss out on each day because I’ve allowed fear to persuade me to stay in the shadows of what I think I know to be best for me.

We grabbed a couple of those Mickey Mouse ice creams and headed to the Jungle Cruise, but we were careful to eliminate the word “ride” from our vocabulary. “Come on, Andrew, let’s go hop on this boat after we eat our ice cream.”


Andrew loves boats. Andrew fears rides. We took a boat ‘ride’, and he loved every second of it because he thought it wasn’t a ride.

Isaiah 41:13 For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, “Fear not, I will help you.

God doesn’t need to trick us. We just need to trust Him. Trust that He knows what is best. Trust that He wants the best for us.

He holds us by the hand. He tells us not to fear. Today, may we stop holding hands with fear, and hold His hand. Fear is our enemy, and fear persuades us to cling close by. God tells us to let go of fear, for He holds our right hand. He will help us.

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Dangers of Disobedience

It looks more congested than normal today.  It’s actually hard to see the cars approaching the crosswalk because of the stopped traffic on our side.  I made my mental assessments and turned to Andrew who was trailing behind me dragging his preschool creations and backpack.  “Make sure you stand behind me.  Do not walk in front of me.”

5 seconds morphed into 5 minutes as time seemed to pause.  Is this happening while my feet are on the ground or am I watching this from afar?  

My right foot took the first step onto the crosswalk when he darted past me, full sprint.  I saw the lady on the other side of the crosswalk, a look of horror on her face.  Was that me screaming or her?  I saw the man to my left, his car stopped to let the preschoolers cross.  His mouth hung open, a silent scream hanging from his lips.  I heard the screams, I saw the faces, and I saw my 4 year old running.  I saw it all before I saw the car approaching from the right, flying through the crosswalk.  The driver never saw the crosswalk, never saw the children.

Lunging forward I hooked the collar of his shirt pulling him backwards into me.  The car whizzed by, missing him by mere inches.

When did time begin moving again?  The gazes that met mine as my shaky legs carried me across the street seemed to say, “I cannot believe he is alive.”

“M’am, are you ok,” a gentleman shouted from his car.  Did I even answer him?

Trembling hands pushed the door open button on the van as I collapsed into the back seat with Andrew.  Unable to speak, head buried in my hands, I sobbed.

Gaining control, I looked up into his calm blue eyes.  That angelic face, full of innocence and oblivion.

“Andrew, you could have died!  That car almost hit you.  All because you didn’t OBEY mommy!!!!  I told you to stay behind me.  You didn’t obey.”

“But I didn’t die.”

My words fell on him like a summer rainstorm, relentless.  The rushing waters from my lips desperately wanted to soak in.

“Andrew!  It’s simple.  Just obey!”

“When you obey me, you are showing me that you love me.  Because if you love me, you trust me.  If you trust me, obeying becomes easier.”

As I preached to him about obedience and why God expects it, I began to hear God whispering back to me.

I watched my child choose disobedience, which nearly cost him his life.  How often do I find myself in a similar situation?  Thinking I know what is best, that I know what is right for me.  Thinking “I’ve got this one, God, don’t worry, it’ll be all right.”  Thinking “God, I know what your Word says, BUT….the circumstances are different for this one.”

But.  He sees ahead.  He sees that car headed my way.  He sees my blocked vision.  He sees the backpack I’m carrying distracting me from making the wisest decision.  He sees it all, and that is why He demands obedience.  For no other reason than love.  His radical, crazy, wild, relentless love.

The choice is ours.  Will we trust Him enough to obey Him?

[box] 1 John 5:2–3  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. (ESV)[/box]