If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18 ESV)
The other day when I was home sick from work, I sat on our upper deck, watching the neighbors’ young children riding their bikes and trikes down the sidewalk in front of our condo. The youngest, cute as a button, couldn’t have been more than seven years old. Further and further they ventured, often losing control with the steep slope of the road. Soon, they were only a dozen feet away from the busy street. My heart was near stopping.
Knowing that my husband was leaving work, I called him to warn him to drive slow and safe as he entered the complex.
A few minutes later Don knocked on the door of the children’s home and spoke with the tired, but agreeable mother. She had worked all day and the kids had been cooped up in school. They wanted to let off some steam and she needed to make dinner, but she hadn’t realized how far the kids had wandered. She called them home and my hubby talked about how our complex could provide the kids some bike time without them wandering into dangerous situations.
Watching this young mother made me cringe and recall what I was like when my kids were small. I was known as the bubble wrap mom. I was often seen yelling at them on the playground, ‘Walk – don’t run!’ I cried harder than they did when they got bloody knees. To this day they blame me for their poor results during the track and field portion of Phys Ed. Sigh.
So upon hearing that this mom knowingly let her kids ride bikes without knee and elbow pads, (yes, I was THAT mom – the girls have since had lots of therapy) and that she also let them ride unsupervised . . . well, it just blew my mind. I was aware that she was a fellow believer, and for a moment I wondered who trusted the Lord with their kids more . . . her or me.
But then I thought about our heavenly Father. I realized that He loves all children – both his young ones and the old ones. For today, He placed me on the deck on the very day when these precious kids were going to push their boundaries. He sent my sweet man to speak in love and with patience to the tired mom instead of a grumpy accuser. He protected and orchestrated everything . . . and He didn’t even need bubble wrap. Oh how He loves us!
Father, I thank You that You watch over us and that You give us opportunity to love and minister to our neighbors. Help us to have hearts that are soft and open to others and to their needs. In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray. Amen!
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