I remember when my kids just began to walk. As a parent this is a pivotal moment. There is a whole ton of meaning and emotion wrapped up in what turns out to be a moment only a few seconds long.
Until now Dad and Mom have taken this child every place they wanted him or her to go. I have a brother in law whose wife just recently gave birth to their first child. She makes no decisions. She gets no say so. She can cry, to be fed, to turned, to be burped, but mom and dad can chose to not do any of those things. She has no control beyond making noise. She is moved and positioned and carried around and is at the mercy of her parents.
But one day she is going to take a step. And they are going to be where I, and perhaps you, have been. Squatted on the floor with arms outstretched and hands begging her to take just one step. From that point forward dad and mom's influence and control begins to slip. When she can walk she suddenly can determine where she wants to go and when. Parents then move from taking their children everywhere they want them to go, to keeping them from going where they aren't supposed to. And that's a whole new game.
It's kind of the picture of God in the message I'm working on, except opposite. God created Adam and Eve and moved very quickly to trying to keep them from going where they weren't supposed to. He didn't set up baby gates, He gave principles and precepts (rules) to try and help humankind stay away from those places where the potential for harm was highest. Of course, just like babies, we crash through those barriers how ever we can. So God moved away from the rules and instead starting acting like a Father.
He crouched down in front of us. Close enough that we wouldn't have to go far, but far enough that we had to make the choice whether to head toward Him or turn to the side. And if we turn He moves. He is consistently right in front of us, between us and whatever we're headed toward, in an attempt to get us to take just one more step and land safely in his arms.
And for our entire lives, both non-christians and christians have a God just one step away, arms outstretched and hands begging, "Come on. You can do it! Just one more step! Come to Daddy." He's right there.
Here's how the prophet Isaiah, speaking of God, expresses this thought.
"I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.'"
So whether you're the one on the edge cause you climbed over one of His rules so you could do your own thing, or you know someone who is teetering at the top of the steps about to fall, this post is for you. God is right there. Waiting to catch you, or someone you love. Pray they take that step and find comfort and peace and protection, just as I have prayed for you while writing this post. That you might, as I have, experience the comfort and security that comes when you finally and completely step into the arms of God.