It never fails that in the midst of good times, my kids take off their shoes. I don’t know if it’s that shoes slow them down or if they want to take in everything that’s happening, even feeling the ground beneath their feet. Nevertheless, when the kids are indulged in good times, the shoes come flying.
It doesn’t matter where we are. They don’t think about the consequences of hot ground or rough terrain. They are too consumed with the ‘right now’ to be concerned about later. And so they run carefree, breeze blowing through their hair, and swing on swings and slide down slides. They play tag and dangle on monkey bars.
It’s not until the hush of night and usually *right* before bedtime that one of them comes to me upset. They have a splinter. In the midst of their play, a small foreign piece of lumber worked its way into their delicate little feet. There are tears. Lots of tears. Because it stings and hurts.
So I get a needle and sterilize it. I get some tweezers. I get some antibacterial ointment. And while I’m doing this, the tears continue. Only they’ve changed. Now, they are tears of fear for the removal and my heart breaks. I explain that I only want to take away the sting and hurt. I just want to make it all better. I explain that it may hurt for a tiny moment but it’s far better than leaving the splinter there. I explain that leaving the splinter could eventually cause infection. My heart breaks. I just want them to trust me and I love them so very much.
It was during one of these late night experiences that the Lord revealed to me how he often feels the same way with His children. We run carefree. We don’t protect ourselves with His word and we get a splinter of sin. And then it stings, because sin isn’t something to lie dormant very long. We want to run to God to fix it but we’re fearful. And His heart breaks. His heart breaks because He loves us and He just wants to make it better. He knows that if we leave that sin unresolved in our hearts, it could lead to infection and death.
God is such a loving Father. Sometimes, we get these splinters and we’re fearful to take them to God because we don’t want to deal with the pain involved with restoration. But Jesus paid it all and the Lord is good. The pain is only for a moment because He is the ultimate healer.
I’m extending my hand out to the Father and asking Him to remove the splinters of my heart. And sometimes, it’s painful. But it’s so worth it. Because where there was once a burning and stinging, there is now peace and hope.