“He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:3-4 (NIV)
I am comforted by the truth that God “stays up” to watch over His children. Is God like an anxious dad standing by the front window waiting for the car to pull in the driveway? Or is He like the watchman in the lobby who secures the premises from unwanted intruders? Or is He like the patient mom who wants to hear how her child’s day went and offer a kiss goodnight? Maybe He is all these things and more, because, after all, His children need someone to care for them, watch over them and comfort them. It is not hard to imagine God staying up all night, as He has given His children the freedom to do as they will.
A development in my family has shed new light on this aspect of life called “freedom” – my oldest son is buying a car. Prior to this purchase, my son had the capacity to express his freedom and choose what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go, but he really did not have the ability to effectively live out this freedom. This all changes with his own car keys in his pocket, and as his parent I am anticipating some sleepless nights. No longer is there the comfort of knowing where he is (after all, how far can he get on foot?) or what he is doing (which, until now, was always studying in the college library, right?). Now, he could be anywhere, doing anything…and that is what will keep me up at night.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
How I wish I could have the temperament of God, to trust that His freedom give us the ability to accomplish great things for Him and not just the ability to do selfish things for ourselves. We have been given the ability to express our freedom in Christ. We can use that freedom to benefit ourselves or to benefit others (and usually ourselves as well). How I pray that my son, and truly that I, would blend together the capacity of freedom and the ability to exercise that freedom in such a way that the love of Christ is shown to others. We have the freedom to do what we want; may what we want to do align with what God wants to do through us.
In the meantime, I think I may begin napping in the afternoon, for I fear that I will have a few long nights ahead of me.