One day while in college I went for a run. As I was getting ready to turn off the bike path towards my dorm, two little kids rode up to me on their bikes. The little boy was almost in tears as he frantically told me that his dad got too far ahead of them and they didn't know where he went. They were scared. I told him that I'd wait there with them until their dad came. Within a few seconds their dad came into view and their fearful, worried faces turned to ones of joy and relief.
Isn't it the same way with us? We're going down the path of life and God, our heavenly Daddy, is out there riding along with us. We're having a grand time until we get distracted and look at the things around us. Soon we're standing there wondering where in the world He went.
In reality these children's dad was just around the corner--he never left them, but because they were so short, they couldn't see over the bushes. Just like these children we often freak out the very moment we can't see exactly where God is, what He's doing and where the road goes that He's leading us down.
Then, as these kids did, we sometimes turn the other direction and ride as fast we can, thinking that we'll be able to find our own way, or we look to other people or things to show us which direction to go.
This story reminds me of Peter walking on water. He heard God's call. He followed as he stepped out of the boat, but then he got distracted by the things around him and began to sink. But Jesus never left him; He reached out His hand and pulled Peter up to safety.
Just as the dad in the story I told turned around and came to find his kids, and just like Jesus reached out and saved Peter from drowning, God, our Heavenly Daddy, comes back to find us when we start to go the other way. He reminds us that He loves us and that He'll never leave us even if he gets out of view. "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:14-17)