Three-year-old Caitlin seemed oblivious to everything around her as she dug in the sand. However, she was alert, ready for danger. If a wave got too close for comfort, she jumped up and ran to safety.
Her brother and sisters were in the ocean, laughing as they welcomed incoming waves. But not Caitlin. She didn't want anything to do with the tongues of water that chased her.
We tried to coax her into the water, but she was afraid. For two days, she kept her distance, choosing to play safely in the sand.
However, on the third day, she summoned courage and braved the water and waves. She laughed as she stomped and splashed, having a blast in her new-found freedom.
However, she was still alert. As she played, she held tightly to her Daddy's hand. When a wave approached, she moved closer to him. If a larger wave threatened, she moved so that Daniel stood between her and the ocean. She stood straight and tall, holding her daddy's hand until danger passed.
Her father, Daniel, was her shield, fortress, and shelter from the storm. Her frolicking was tempered only by her tight grip on his hand. She gained courage from her father to face approaching danger.
As I watched Caitlin, I thought of our heavenly Father. How often do we miss out on God's best, because we are we insecure and fearful?
The Lord is patient. He doesn't force us. He lets us sit on the sidelines and dig in the sand. However, while huddling in our comfort zone, we miss experiencing God's protection, His grace, and the joy and fulfillment of joining in the work that He is doing.
Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" Matt. 28:20 NKJV. He will be with us when we step out of our comfort zone to join in His work. Just as Daniel stayed by Caitlin's side, the Lord will not leave or forsake us. Our problem is that we lose our grip on His hand. We get so involved in our pleasures, our problems, our inadequacies, or in our service to Him that we forget to hold His hand and look to Him for guidance and protection.
In Joshua 1:9 NKJV, God says, "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Daniel would give his life to protect Caitlin—but he's limited. The Almighty God has no limits in His knowledge of what is best, His power, His love, or in anything. With Him by our side, we don't need to fear what a situation will bring.
Like Caitlin, we need to stay close to our Father and remain alert to danger. Our enemy is real. Satan would like to defeat us and to destroy God's kingdom. However, with the living God by our side, we have nothing to fear. He will stand between us and danger.
"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him." Nah. 1:7 NKJV. Knows refers to intimacy and understanding. When we grasp the Lord's hand and venture forth, we find security, understanding, and fellowship with our Father.
While playing in the sand, Caitlin was very quiet and solemn. However, when she held her daddy's hand and went beyond her comfort zone, she bubbled over with joy.
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalm 34:8 NKJV.