My daughter likes to touch things, little things, heavy things, other people’s things . . . everything! I watch her constantly for fear that she will get into something that could harm her or someone else. We have started telling her “hands off” when she approaches something she shouldn’t touch. She knows to hold her hands in the air when I say this, which makes her stop for just a second and think before she touches. If I had a nickel for every time I said “hands off” . . . well you get the picture. Does it work? Sometimes yes . . . and sometimes no. Asking her not to touch something is like asking her not to breathe.

The other day she got a hold of a tootsie pop, which she immediately put in her mouth. By the time I got to her she was sticky, not just a little sticky, I mean sticky everywhere, her face, shirt, hair, but especially her hands. She had also managed to bend the stick until it broke off, so the entire tootsie pop, and what was left of the stick, was still in her mouth. I tried not to think about where the rest of the stick might have landed. I’d have to find that later. “Hands off”, I told her as I began to unbuckle her car seat. She grabbed the seat in front of her, the armrest and the buckle trying to “help” get herself out. I sighed, all three were sticky now. I held her hands as I worked her out of the seat as best I could without letting her touch anything. We headed inside and I repeated “hands off” as I guided her through the door, which she touched, and up the stairs, where she grabbed the wall to steady herself before I could stop her. We finally made it to the bath where I cleaned her up from head to toe. Then, I had to go back and clean up all the sticky places she left behind.

Funny, I guess in some ways, we never grow up. We still want to get our hands on everything and “help” God do things. Unfortunately, our selfish motives make our hands hopelessly sticky. We end up making a mess of everything we touch along the way. God patiently tells us to wait upon Him and trust Him, but we just can’t seem to remember not to meddle. While we should be waiting and resting in the peace that surpasses all understanding, instead, we take matters into our own sticky hands and end up making things worse than they were to begin with.

Once again, God cleans us up (an ongoing process, just like it is with my daughter) and then goes back to take care of all the messes we’ve created along the way. If only we would listen to His voice and patiently wait with childlike faith knowing that if He says not to touch, it is because he has our best interests at heart. If only we could learn to keep our hands off.

“But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 ESV