I like wrapping Christmas presents. I do not claim to excel at it, but I do enjoy the fun and frustrating process. For me it is a holiday event. I spread my tools and boxes all over the floor, switch the tv to all things Hallmark, and go knee-deep in tape bits and cellophane until the job is done. On this year’s festive night, as my scissors zoomed down the pre-lined wrapping paper, I thought to myself, “Who buys the paper with no lines???” I mean, seriously, who chooses that feeling of finding out mid-package that you veered a little left in that last cut and are now one inch shy on the south side? I like the lines! I appreciate the fact that an otherwise cumbersome task is simplified in any and all ways possible. I will budget a little extra money and extend a little extra effort, if necessary, but just don’t make me do the job without the lines!
How often does God wonder of us, “Why do you choose to live without the lines?” In the goodness of His will He saw fit to give us the knowledge of Himself and His way in His holy Scripture.
Psalm 32:8-9 says, “I will instruct you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near to you.” (NASB)
The children of God have no need for controlling restraints like “bit and bridle” to bring us near to our Heavenly Father. The parental “look” is enough. Our Father’s watchful eye guides His children with discipline and compassion. He desires us to draw near to Him. He has made Himself known. Following Jesus is not easy. We are assured in Scripture that it will be difficult many times. However, it is not the great mystery of traps and mazes that the devil would prefer us to believe. God has given us “everything we need for life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3) How wonderful to know that He has provided all the guiding lines necessary for the otherwise impossible task of pursuing His holiness and abiding in His nearness.
“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness will surround him. Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.”
(Psalm 32:10-11, NASB)