By: Victoria Riollano
Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by evil. - Psalm 119:133
Every single day in my family, there’s a battle that takes place. Though I always win, the frustration still exists. I call this epic struggle, the “battle of the car seat.” Although I place my two-year-old in the car seat every single day, she always has a better plan. Whether she wants to buckle herself in or not get in the seat at all, she believes that she knows best. Safety isn’t an issue for her because her mind is made up. Yet, no matter how strong her will is, her fast her legs kick, or how loud the cry, I ensure that she is buckled in tightly and ready for the journey.
Recently, during the daily car-seat battle, I saw myself in her actions. I began to recognize how many times I have been the stubborn child in the face of a God who simply trying to keep me safe. There were times I kicked and screamed as He was trying to remove me from a toxic friendship. Clearly, there were moments when I refused to move forward with a plan He gave. Even more so, there have been times where He was trying to keep me safe and on-target, but I chose to follow my own desires.
I made a choice to not be buckled in.
Often times, you will hear non-believers speak of a God that is controlling and trying to “keep them from having fun.” Yet, the truth is, He buckles us in only to keep us safe and to get us to where He called us to.
Could it be that every “rule” He gives is simply to protect us from a greater danger ahead? For example, His command to not be “drunk on wine” could be what saves you from falling into a pattern of addiction. His instruction to honor your father and mother could be what keeps a child from making a fatal choice. His command to save sex for marriage could be His way of protecting you from heartbreak. Whatever the case may be, we have to remember that God is not out to get us or to withhold good things. Yet, just as any loving father would, He gives us direction for our protection.
"I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but not everything is constructive. - 1 Corinthians 10:23
In other words, we certainly have the “right” to do what we want. However, are those things life-giving? Will they cause harm? Will they be pleasing to the Lord? Will they cause us more heartache?
This verse is a reminder that God has given us free-will. Even considering the Adam and Eve story, it is clear that God gave them choices. They could choose what led to life or what would lead to death. They made a decision to disregard the safety belt of God’s commands to follow what their flesh saw as a “good opportunity.” In doing so, a generational consequence was unleashed for all humanity. Their refusal to stay within God’s plan cost them everything.
Today, I ask you, are you with being “buckled in” by God? Just like my daughter, we can spend our life fighting every step of the way. The truth is, her desire isn’t to be naughty; she simply doesn’t understand the bigger picture of why she needs to be in her car seat. In these car seat battles, her desire to follow her own plan is all that matters to her. Even her own safety or getting to the destination is simply not a thought. May you choose today to go with God’s plan even if we don’t quite understand. Let the Lord order your steps, and you will see that even the most difficult situations will be blessed.
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of six, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released her book, The Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Living A Victorious Life. Her ultimate desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
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Originally published Wednesday, 07 June 2023.