My mom recently told me a story (and showed me the home video) from when I was a baby. Back when my family and I lived in Pennsylvania, we had a house that had a second floor, with a steep staircase. Being the ever-inquisitive 1 year old, I wanted to explore upstairs.
With a watchful eye, I received a gentle warning from my dad as I tried to climb, "Rachel Dow... You better not go up those steps."
I had my mind set on getting up those stairs. Even though my dad knew what was better, and ultimately safer for me, I wanted to see what was on the second floor of the house. Instead of allowing me to climb further, my dad came and rescued me from the stairs. Was I happy? No. Did I cry? Yes. I wasn't old enough to vocalize just how unfair it was that I couldn't get all the way up the stairs, but my parents knew they had a better way for my own wellbeing.
Upon hearing that story, I was reminded of how I am sometimes still that one year old in my relationship with the Father. I want to do things my way because I know what I want. I want to explore territory that the Father is blocking for my own protection.
As I was letting all of this marinate, the Lord prompted me to look at Hosea 2. In Hosea 2, God is talking about the sinful ways of the nation of Israel. He even goes so far as to say in Hosea 2:6-7 "Therefore, this is what I will do: I will block her way with thorns; I will enclose her with a wall, so that she cannot find her paths. She will pursue her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them."
In this case, God was using the blockage as a blessing. He's using blockage with Israel's best interest in mind: protection.
Everything that the Father does is rooted in love, and this hedge of protection over Israel is no exception.
A blockage is not always unfair resistance, but rather an invitation to shift our eyes to the One who is our Protector and Defender.
As a one year old, I was unable to see that my parents knew that the stairs presented a very real danger to my safety, so they whispered a gentle, "No, Rachel."
Just as my parents saw the danger in the stairs, sometimes the Lord tells us, "No, child," because He has something better in store. When I was a one-year old, I did not like being told, "No." Not much has changed in my twenty-two years (almost twenty-three, woohoo!)
In my own life, I am sometimes wishing that the Lord would just be my cheerleader and not my Defender. Can you relate?
Everything the Father does is rooted in love.
Would you receive that Truth today? Perhaps where you are so fervently praying for a yes, the Lord is whispering a gentle no, because He wants to open your heart to something better. He wants to personify Psalm 18:2 (GNT): "The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe."
Although the Lord is always celebrating you and cheering you on, He wants to be your Protector and Defender, too. I am learning that His "No, child," is often because He wants to give me a bigger gift than what I am prepared for.
Would you allow Him to demonstrate His heart for you? Amen.