“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles." Psalms 34:6
A few weeks ago we were blessed to have some family stay with us. My six year old nephew has a very inquisitive mind. His eyes never seemed to stop surveying every centimeter of each room he entered. Like a bee tenaciously seeking pollen, he would open drawers, cupboards, closet doors, opening any container he discovered, insatiably looking to pollinate his curious mind. I found myself repeatedly saying to him, “Please, ask me first, before you go opening and taking things out.”
To channel his mind and energy to where I could better keep an eye on him, I invited him to help me and my dad work on our deck. Of course, his eyes only got bigger as he walked into the shop. He’s so fast. Again, without asking, he was tearing into containers of nails, screws, glue, as well as grabbing hammers, saws, and power tools. Now, more firmly, not wanting him to be harmed, I reiterated my request, “Please, do not touch, or open anything without asking me first.” When he did ask me first about trying out a tool, I gladly let him know how pleased I was by having him help me use it. Nevertheless, my challenge continued. One second he was by my side, the next he was behind me trying to cut a discarded piece of wood with a circular saw. “No! Remember, please ask me first,” I exclaimed with exasperation. Eyes down, bottom lip curled, “I forget,” he said. After having him mark a measured spot with a pencil, I turned to ask my dad something and, just like that, out of the corner of my eye I notice the ladder falling over. There he was, at the top of the falling ladder, cordless drill in hand, still trying to fasten a screw into the deck. Somehow, in the mercy of God, we completed the project without any injuries or deaths to report to my sister!
The next morning I hurriedly started taking on the tasks and responsibilities of the day. As I began responding to calls, texts, and emails, it became clear that it would be a heavier than usual day of coming alongside dear people in difficult situations. I was about to make another call, but instead buried my face in my hands unsure of how to proceed. Just then the cute little face of my nephew appeared in my mind, and I heard the words, “Ask me first. Remember, please just ask me first.” God was graciously reminding me that, as determined to do good as I was, I still needed to ask him first. Our Adversary, the Devil, is evil and powerful, and people’s lives matter dearly (including my own well-being) to our heavenly Father. Before I take up the powerful Word of God and rush to the top of a teetering ladder, I need to remember to stop, and just ask him first for help and guidance.
“…call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me,” says the Lord (Psalm 50.15). Whatever challenging situation you find yourself in today, before you rush in where you shouldn’t, open things that are meant to stay closed, and potentially bring harm to yourself or others, please remember to stop, and ask him first.
Thanks for meandering along with me,