|That is a long way down for an 18 month old|
Most of the family was resting after church yesterday afternoon so I took our youngest outside with me to play while I raked up some leaves in the back yard. I had to wheel the leaves around to the front to be picked up Monday and I didn't want to leave Maddie Rose in the back yard alone. I called to her and she followed me around to the front and watched while I dumped the leaves out by the road. I called to her again and she began to follow me back around the house to the back yard. I kept my eyes on her, knowing that we were on the side of the house with the drainage ditch. I turned to check the path in front of me and almost immediately heard a sound very much like feet slipping on dirt and then a soft cry from Maddie Rose. I turned around to see her sitting about 6 inches down the rather steep slope of the drainage ditch with her legs hanging over the edge. I dropped the yard waste can and sprinted to her. I picked her up and looked down into the mostly dry drainage ditch, making sure that she was ok. My mind couldn't help but envision what very nearly took place: Maddie Rose falling to the bottom of the ditch and landing in the water.
I don't know if she wandered too close to the ditch accidentally or if she went over to see what was over there and then just got too close to the edge. What I do know is she very nearly got herself into a situation that ended in her being hurt, perhaps seriously. If I hadn't been nearby, she would have undoubtedly fallen as she tried to get back up. Fortunately for her, I was nearby and it was no problem for me to pluck her up and safely remove her from harms way.
As I sat inside, with my daughter safely playing next to me, I couldn't help but think of the times my heavenly Father has kept me from danger as I unknowingly blundered straight towards it. We are, I believe, much more like 18 month old children than we would like to admit. Whether it is accidentally getting too close to a person or situation because we are completely unaware of the danger involved or whether it is getting too close because we want a little better look even though we know there might be danger involved, we often find ourselves quickly in over our heads and in need of rescue from our own ignorance.
And how often is our heavenly Father right there to pick us up when we fall, brush us off, and take us to safety again, knowing that the next time we are just as likely to wander away into danger again.
The best way to keep my daughter safe is to teach her what danger is and where it can be found. Until she learns those things, I will keep a close eye on her in hopes that when she does wander away, I will be there to prevent the worst of the damage. So our Father does for us. He teaches us and protects us while we are learning.
I know that my heart skipped a few beats as I looked back and saw my daughter sitting so close to what could have been real trouble. Because I love her, I rushed to prevent her from being hurt any more than she was.
How much more does our Father love us? Rushing to rescue us time and time again as we disregard His warnings and His teachings because He loves us, has redeemed us, and calls us His children.