"Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.
If only you would listen to his voice today!
The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah,
as they did at Massah in the wilderness." Psalm 95:6-8 (New Living Translation)
It's Saturday! It's Saturday! my heart started repeating over and over as I rolled out of bed that morning. I was a woman giddy in my joy over the prospect of having the whole morning to myself. My husband had encouraged me to get out of the house to do something fun, telling me to leave our nineteen month old son and six month old daughter with him. I was going to enjoy every second of my solitude, even if I didn't accomplish anything but being alone for a few hours without two babies.
I checked and rechecked everything to make sure Rob had everything he needed to help his morning go smoothly with the kids. I laid out diapers and wipes. I set out the jars of baby food my daughter would eat while I was away. All these tasks were done with an immense smile on my face as I anticipated the exhilaration of my freedom. I would be able to turn off the Wee Sing cassette that my son was obsessed with and listen to real music in the car. No one would be crying in the back seat, which invariably would start as soon as I backed out of the driveway. I was going to be able to park my car, step out, and close the door behind me rather than having to get a shopping cart to put my son in the front and having to pull out my daughter's car seat to put in the back of the cart. No little hands to hold, no dirty shopping cart handle to clean with wipes, and no race against the clock to try to shop before one of them started crying for one reason or another. I was in for a leisurely stroll down the aisles. "Don't touch!" were not words that were going to be on my lips! I ask you: Could life get any better??
I put Jordyn down for her morning nap and glanced through the sheers on our living room windows into the backyard. Rob was working outside with Chase, his little "helper." Chase was a daddy's boy through and through--right down to his little pug nose. He and Rob were spending more and more time together. Rob took the train into Chicago every morning for work before Chase woke up. One of my son's first questions in the morning lately was, "Mama, Daddy go bye-bye choo choo?" My answer sometimes caused a complete meltdown in Chase, who was starting to become aware of Rob's absence. I knew that Chase would be thrilled with the daddy-son time he and Rob would share that morning.
I gave one last glance around the house. Everything was in order. I could leave! I made my way through the kitchen to the garage. I needed to open the garage door manually, which I did, breathing in the glorious early-summer morning air. Without a hint of the long winter's nip in the breeze on my skin, life was just about perfect, I decided. I walked back into the garage, sat down in the car, and turned on the ignition. I found my favorite radio station and put my foot on the brake as I shifted the car into reverse.
STOP!! DO NOT PUT YOUR FOOT ON THE GAS PEDAL!!
Was I hearing things? Where did that voice come from? I thought maybe Rob was behind me, yelling. I glanced in my rearview mirror. There was no one behind me. The tone was urgent and demanded my instant obedience. Without even really thinking, I shifted the car into park, and hurriedly opened the door to find out who had been talking to me. I walked along the side of my car and saw this:
(My beautiful nineteen-month-old son, Chase)
Chase had wandered into the front yard alone. Rob thought he was with me; I thought he was with Rob. Instead, my son was crouching down on his little legs peering at my vehicle's exhaust pipe, his small body just two feet from my left rear tire.
"What dat, Mama?" His innocent and oblivious eyes questioned me as he pointed at the car.
The horror of what had almost just happened started sinking in, turning my legs into jelly. I started sobbing as I reached for my precious son. Thank You, Jesus! Thank You, Jesus! Thank You, Jesus! was all I could say over and over again as I held his sweet little body to mine. I am sure any one of my neighbors would have thought I was a lunatic, crying over my son on my knees in my driveway. They would have been ignorant to what had almost just happened.
My precious sister, there are times when we clearly hear the voice of our heavenly Father say, "STOP! DON'T DO THAT!" It is not an audible sound, but one that is just as real as the voice I heard that day in the garage. That is His voice speaking to us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comforts, but He also convicts. Sometimes we are as naive and innocent as my not yet two-year-old son, and we have the sense to obey, even though we do not understand. Other times, however, we deliberately rebel, disobey, and find ourselves feeling as though we have been run over by the tire of a two ton vehicle. If we continue to disobey the voice of God, we are headed down a path that can only lead to danger, sorrow, and destruction.
What is the Holy Spirit telling us to stop in our lives? Maybe it is a friendship with the member of the opposite sex that has lately taken on a flirtacious or overly intimate nature, even though we are married or he is married. We have heard that voice loud and clear but think we are still in control. Maybe it is what we are allowing ourselves to watch in the way of inappropriate material on television, at the theatre, or on the internet. There is a growing population of women becoming addicted to pornography over the world wide web. Maybe it is an issue of character--lying, cheating, gossiping, or causing dissension among others. If we are not hearing His voice anymore over these things that grieve the heart of God is it because we have quenched it with our disobedience?
We can see God's rules as stifling, as though they are meant to take all the fun out of life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our God is for us, delights in us, and has plans to proper us and not to harm us. He wants us to live life abundantly. But we will never realize that abundant life unless we learn to obey His voice of conviction immediately. My tears in my driveway were over what could have happened, but didn't. Even when it does not seem like it, our God knows what is best for you and me. Let's obey Him today without question.
Jesus, thank You for Your voice that day that stopped me in the garage. I believe that you have saved my son for some great purpose yet to be realized. May Your voice of conviction stop me today so that I, too, might be saved me for some great purpose yet to be realized. There is no sin so tantalizing that is worth quenching Your voice, which warns me of danger that is ahead. Help me to obey immediately, without question, even when I don't understand the reason why I must.