I was recently on a family trip to my in-laws in Oregon. They have a nice home with a large back yard, something my twin girls, Evelyn and Hannah (who are 21 months old), loved playing in. Before you get to the grass, there is a lining of rocks about four feet wide that separates the pavement from the grass.
It was fascinating for me to see how each of my girls reacted to this flat 'bridge' of rocks. Hannah looked at the grass ahead of her and stormed ahead, not even noticing the rocks she needed to walk over to get there. Evelyn, on the other hand, was quite concerned with the small rocks impeding her journey. She would squeal with delight at the thought of getting to the grass, but as she approached the rocks, she would stop right at the line, much like Shoeless Joe Jackson did in the movie 'Field of Dreams'. She would look at Hannah running free on the other side and then look around and say, "Daddy, Daddy..." and wait until myself, or my wife, could grab her hand and walk with her across the rocks.
Once she was on the other side she felt free to explore and run free in the wilds of the big back yard.
I have found that my kids are a profound example of my relationship with God. Something struck me as I pondered my two little girls running around out there. One of them, Hannah, was fearless in her adventurous spirit. The other, Evelyn, needed my hand and guidance to cross the rocks and get to the other side where she was free to run and play.
The reflection of my relationship with the Lord seemed to be this: my heart as their Dad was filled to the brim for both of them. I was blessed to see Hannah charge ahead and enjoy the confidence and the freedom to run boldly over the rocks, knowing that I was right behind her. And I was also blessed by the sweet dependence Evelyn needed as she asked to take my hand.
Sometimes I think it's easy to believe that God wants us one way or the other; either boldly running ahead, filled with confidence, or clutching tightly to his arm. The truth is, I believe, that God's heart for us doesn't change based on our reaction to a situation. If there are times we need to have His hand to get us across the rocks, then He is more than willing, and even blessed by, our need of Him. If there are other times where our confidence leads us to run ahead, knowing that we have His full blessing to live our lives boldly, then He is equally filled with love, and blessing for us then, too.
Either way, I realized in those little moments that the Heavenly Father's heart for us doesn't change based on how we react to the rocks we have to cross in our lives. He just wants to be there with us.