My second-born son loves going on lone adventures – riding his bike, sliding down a water slide, exploring a new trail, etc. – but the only problem is that he doesn’t like to do them alone. Being a middle child (two years younger than his brother and two years older than his sister), he is used to having people around. So when he wants to take on a solo project, he becomes torn between his desire to dive in and his fear of being alone.
I usually become his playmate when he does something new. I’ve run full speed in my flip-flops next to my son while he navigated his first few trips on a new bike because he wouldn’t ride it otherwise. I’ve scrambled down a medium water slide fully dressed in order to reach my son who had lodged himself in the middle of the yellow tube, screaming for me to come with him. I’ve traveled the short distance of our backyard with my son who wasn’t comfortable to play by himself until he had investigated the entire perimeter with me.
I love being there for my son, but I know that I won’t be able to journey with him on every path God leads him down.
I think many times we don’t obediently follow God into the unknown because we are scared. We pray for God to bring us a helper, an encourager, a fellow traveler; however, as our faith becomes stronger, God will limit the hand-holding people around us. Sometimes we will find ourselves alone at a very scary fork in the road, and we may feel that God is neglecting or abandoning us.
Is God being insensitive to our feelings?
God is the only One who completely understands us and unconditionally loves us, which is demonstrated by God sending His son to die for us on the Cross. He knows the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12.7) and the hidden thoughts of our hearts (Psalm 139.2). And He wants us to learn to depend on the movement of His Spirit, while putting our faith in Jesus and our trust in His Word, the Bible. God desires to be our “playmate” in life – the One we turn to first, the One we rely on most, the One we want to journey with us.
In my experience, God will limit the comfort and assurance we find in people because He wants us to find true comfort and assurance in Him. The Holy Spirit lives in us, Jesus prays for us and the Bible guides us. There will come a time when we must choose to walk blindly into God’s will, confidently putting all of our hopes, fears and dreams into His sovereign hands. When we go on those lone adventures and take on those solo projects despite our fears of being alone, we show God that we truly believe He is doing life with us. We are never alone.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3.16 ESV).
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