Caleb’s inquisitive curiosity keeps him active. Exploring, learning, touching, experiencing. A child’s mind is a sponge that absorbs everything it encounters. Yet, with this innate desire to explore, there exists the danger and pain of consequences.
When he was just 18 months old, we repeatedly told him, “Do not touch the oven. It’s hot. It could hurt you.” Our commands were not to hinder his curiosity, but to protect him–to keep him from harm.
My wife had prepared some wonderful, homemade pizza for dinner one night. As I stood at the counter, I opened the door of the preheated oven. When I turned around to get the pizza, Caleb walked around behind me out of my sight and methodically placed both hands on the inside of the hot oven door. I turned back around just in time to see him scream. My heart broke.
After a quick visit to the emergency room, the doctor diagnosed Caleb with second-degree burns on the palms of both hands. Over the next few weeks, we kept ointment, bandages and socks on his hands. Thanks to God, there was no permanent damage.
When our Father sets boundaries in our life, it’s because he loves us and does not want to see us hurt. He is not stifling our curiosity or creativity with his commands. He is protecting us from physical, mental and spiritual harm.
If we disobey our Father, there will be consequences. The aftermath of disobedience may be felt in different ways. For some, the results are immediately obvious and painful. For others, the pain is hidden and not so obvious. Regardless of how it is felt, there is no avoiding the consequences of disobedience.
“A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).
Just as my heart broke to see my son experience the consequence of disobedience, your Father hurts when you hurt. He does not like seeing you in pain. He comes to you ready to work with you on the pain. He’s there to comfort and love you.
If you are hurting, talk to your Father. He knows all about it. You may not even know why you hurt. Ask God to speak to you through prayer and through his Word. Let the Holy Spirit speak through your conscience. Listen for his voice of compassion. Let the healing process begin.
Prayer: Father, I know that your commands are for my good, to keep me from harm and pain. However, my humanity leads me to stray from your path into the dangerous land of the unknown. Forgive me for my stubborn independence, and heal the hurts I have brought upon myself.