Not long ago, my eight-year-old daughter made up her mind to run away. I tried to stay relaxed and allow her to to talk through all her difficult feelings. She told me how she would sleep on the pavement and buy her breakfast from the corner shop. While I was confident that she would, eventually, calm down and not leave, I did wonder if I should lock the windows in her room. The thought of her wandering the streets, alone and vulnerable, gives me goose-bumps. She was so sure that she would be safe, that she knew the dangers and would be able to cope with them and she still is determined to be as independent as possible. As her parent, of course, I know how terrified she would really be and how utterly un-equipped she is to live alone; she needs to stay here, with me, to be under my protection.
That night she slept in a sleeping bag on the floor, denying herself the comfort of her bed in preparation for the hardships she would face when she left next morning.
I am facing some difficult decisions and I am frightened of the future. I am trying my best to foresee all potential outcomes and to protect myself against what might happen. It occurred to me this morning that I need to rest in my Father's house, to accept and enjoy his love and protection, to rest in the refuge he promises me. I am not equipped to see into the future or to control all the outcomes. I need to trust in him, his love and his provision. And I wonder how often I make myself "sleep on the floor" - uncomfortable with worry in the hope that this will offset some future problem, rather than resting now in the warmth of his Fatherly love.