The other day, I watched a short video of a little girl running down the hallway at her early learning center to meet her father at the other end. The joy on her face could be seen even though she was far from the camera. She toddled on her chubby little legs, and one of my first thoughts, as a former early childhood educator of 20 years, was she needed to use her walking feet to avoid getting hurt.
As she raced toward the camera, she stumbled and fell. She thrust her hands out to break her fall. Then she stood, dusted off her knees, and continued running into her father’s embrace. She had faith in knowing he would welcome her with love and joy.
After watching that video, I wondered if I was running into my Heavenly Father’s embrace with the same abandon…or had I slowed and used my walking feet.
This past Sunday, I taught four little boys ages two to four in Sunday school. After our story of Daniel and the lions’ den, I reminded them to use their walking feet in the hall. And for a couple, it was a struggle. They have so much excitement and energy in their little bodies and they just need to get it out. However, they did follow my rule and their listening was rewarded once we returned to our classroom.
We encourage walking inside to promote rule-following and safety.
However, when it comes to our Heavenly Father, we can skip this rule and run into His open arms with abandon. He wants us to have that innocent joy and excitement as we spend quality time in His presence. He wants us to pour all of that excess energy into getting to know Him more.He wants us to have that innocent joy and excitement as we spend quality time in His presence. #TellHisStory #faith #grace Click To Tweet
How do we do this?
Make Him a Priority.
It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily busyness. The moment the alarm goes off and our feet hit the floor, our brains wake up and start scrolling through what needs to be accomplished. Recently, I realized I wasn’t making quality time with Him a priority. Instead, I jumped into marking things off my to-do list and fit my prayer and Bible reading in when I had time. So I made a change. As soon as my husband heads off to work, I grab my quiet time basket with my Bible, devotional, journal, and colored pens. By having my quality quiet time before doing anything else, I could move through my to-do list with focus. And it’s more than checking off an item on my list. I’m gaining a deeper understanding of who God is and who He wants me to be—His daughter who runs into His embrace with joy.
Communicate with Him.
Prayer is simply a conversation with God. But it’s more than a laundry list of our wants and needs. God wants to know how we feel about Him. He wants to hear our praise and adoration. He wants to hear about our sins and struggles. He wants us to thank Him for the abundant blessings He’s given us. And He wants us to come to Him with our needs. He wants to hear from us during times of joy and times of grief. Prayer deepens our relationship with Him as His Spirit gives us the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding we need to be who He has called us.
Listen to His Leading.
Prayer is communicating with God through a give-and-take style of conversation. Even though we don’t hear an audible voice like they did in the Bible, we can hear Him speak through the wisdom of others, scripture, stories, music, and even through signs like hummingbirds, cardinals, and butterflies. When God speaks to us, we need to listen to His leading. When I pray about a situation, I know it’s the right one when I have this incredible sense of peace.
Trust and Obey.
Just like the refrain for the hymn, “Trust and Obey” says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Along with listening to His leading, we need to trust He has the best intentions for each one of us. He wants only the best for us. Sometimes, that best comes through a painful season of refinement. We may be hesitant to step out in faith, but if we trust Him, take His hand, and follow His leading obediently, then we will have a joy and excitement that can’t come from anything other than racing into our Father’s embrace.
Reading the Bible and studying His Word doesn’t do us any good if we’re not honoring Him with our words and actions. When we are intentional in showing God’s love and reflecting His light, then we will draw others into His kingdom. By using the gifts and talents He has given us, we can love and serve others like Jesus.Reading the Bible and studying His Word doesn’t do us any good if we’re not honoring Him with our words and actions. #TellHisStory #Faith #encouragement Click To Tweet
Running into our Heavenly Father‘s embrace doesn’t come without some stumbling and a fall or two. So many things happening in our lives tempts us to take the focus off our Father’s outstretched arms and onto our problems.
In Matthew, when Jesus walks on water, the disciples saw Him and thought He was a ghost. But Jesus told them to have courage and not be afraid. When Peter got out of the boat to walk toward Jesus, he stayed steady until he took his focus off the Lord and put it on the wind and waves. He began to sink and cried out, “Lord, save me.” Verse 31 reads, Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
If we take our focus off Jesus and put it on our problems, it’s so easy to feel like we are overwhelmed and drowning in our trials. But our faithful Father won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. He promises when we are tempted, then He will provide a way out. And we can find shelter in His loving arms.
Your Turn: Are you walking or running to God? What surprises you most about Him?Are you walking or running to God? What surprises you most about Him? #TellHisStory #Faith #Christianliving Click To Tweet