Yesterday, when my almost-3-year-old son wanted to help me cook supper, I let him do things like help me fill a pan with water and then put the lid on the pan. I didn't let him turn on the burner on our gas stove or use the cleaver to dice the cooked chicken. I was the one who did those tasks.
When my daughters Lindsey and Jessica wanted to jump from the top of Lindsey's bunk bed over onto Jessica's single bed, which was against a different wall, I could just envision them landing on the mattress and crashing both the mattress and box springs through the support slats onto the ground. I said no. Instead, I made sure they had other outlets for their physical play.
And when my son Kenny wanted the freedom to do flips on his own on our backyard trampoline, I knew that he really had no clue how to safely attempt them, having never been instructed. I told him he would have to let me instruct him first.
There are some things that are simply too dangerous for children to deal with on their own.
God knows this too, in terms of you and me. And in terms of the most dangerous thing we face: sin.
He knows that sin is far too threateningly hazardous for us to face it by ourselves. He knows that without His help, we will get hurt. And because He loves us so much, He doesn't want anything like that to happen to us. His heart cries out to protect us.
Would you let your child face an angry rattlesnake by himself? Of course not. You'd do everything in your power to protect him because you love him. Your heart would rise up within and demand that you do something to protect your beloved. Likewise, God's Father-heart deeply desires the protection of His beloved. Acting on that love, He's done everything possible in His incredible power to keep us safe.
He gave His own life in place of ours to protect us from the death caused by sin. He knew there was no way we could ever make up for our sins and that we were in danger of eternal separation from Him. So He sent Jesus to take the penalty in our place.
He also promised that He will never leave us (see Deut. 31:8). He'll be with us always. What this means for us (among many other wonderful things we will spend eternity trying to fathom) is that when we face sin, He's right there with us and in us. Our Protector is right there, ready, willing and able to help.
Not only that, but He guaranteed that He will always make a way for us to escape what sin is trying to do to us (see 1 Cor. 10:13 below). Whether temptation assaults us with a direct attack or slithers quietly into our hearts and minds, there is a way to get away from it. We don't have to stand there and let it devour us. We may feel overwhelmed, but we're not. There's a way out. A way to get away. A way to escape.
I've been aware of these verses for much of my life. But it wasn't until recently that it really hit me: God did these things for me so I wouldn't have to face something so dangerous all by myself and run the risk of getting seriously hurt.
Once I realized that truth, the rest fell into place: the reason why He cares so much about my being seriously hurt is because He loves me so much. He loves me and wants to protect me.
He loves you just as much, precious child of God, and He doesn't want to see you hurt either. That's why He's done all this for you. That's why He died for you, why He's always with you, and why He always stands ready to help you escape.
That's why He will make sure you never have to face sin alone.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, and He will not permit you to be tempted above what you can endure, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it."
Adapted from Megan Breedlove's blog, Manna for Moms. Megan is the author of Well Done, Good and Faithful Mommy and Manna for Moms: God's Provision for Your Hair-Raising, Miracle-Filled Mothering Adventure (Regal Books.) She is also a blogger and a stay-at-home mom with five children.
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