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Staying Close to God

The wisdom of not straying from Jesus.

Holding a child's hand

From the time I held my oldest son in my arms for the first time, I was afraid of having one of my babies wander away, getting lost. Now that I have grandchildren, that fear is magnified. I’ve prayed many prayers of protection over my family, but whenever I’m with my grandbabies, I’m always on high alert to make sure they are close at hand.

I thought about that on our recent family trip to Disney World with our young grandchildren. Their parents do an awesome job watching out for them, but believe me, in the midst of those large crowds in the parks, my husband and I were their back-up eyes to make sure everyone was with us.

Our five-year-old granddaughter, Eden, is a happy-go-lucky doll-baby, but she sometimes became distracted and walked away from us. I’d hear her mama say, “Eden! Come here.” There were a few times she wandered a bit away from us as we looked in the stores, and her mama would say, “Eden! You’ve got to stay with me.” 

The night we enjoyed a buffet meal at one of the Disney resorts, Eden’s daddy left the table and started back to the buffet line across the room. She ran after him, but his back was to Eden and he didn’t see her. My daughter-in-law jumped up and got her and as they walked back to the table, I heard her mama scold, “You can’t just wander off like that. An adult has to know where you’re going, and you have to be with someone.” Her scolding wasn’t meant to be mean. It was done out of love. 

Later that night, I told Eden, “Your mama doesn’t want you to get lost or to have something happen to you. That would break Grandmama’s heart, too, so try hard not to wander away and make sure we know where you are. Okay?” Those beautiful eyes looked up at me as she nodded.

But the next day, I watched as she dashed off after one of our family members who had stopped to get something. I called, “Eden!” She ran back to me and sheepishly said, “I wandered away, didn’t I?” But for the rest of the trip, that sweet girl did a great job of staying with us.

On a similar note, I wonder how many times I’ve wandered away from God? How often has He said, “Michelle, come back here!” Or “You need to stay close to Me.” I wonder how often I’ve tried His patience as I wandered from Him time and again. But He comes after me. He scolds me with love because He wants me safe and close to Him.

I hope I’ve learned my lesson as well as little Eden, because I want to be close to Him—and I know that’s the safest place I will ever be.

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