Our little baby is starting to grow up.  We got so excited when he rolled over for the first time and now he is able to scoot around and get wherever he wants to go.  Since my office is right in the parsonage, he often ends up crawling under my desk and playing at my feet.
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As the rest of us were eating breakfast this morning, he was laying on the floor, happily exploring his surroundings.  Suddenly our three year old exclaimed, “oh, oh, baby!” as he pointed at the little guy playing with the vacuum cleaner hose.  Though the hose was harmless, it was connected to a handle that was leaning against the wall and could have hit him. 
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I was quite pleased that our toddler saw the danger and warned of it.  He has become quite the protector of his little brother when he is not sitting on him or trying to wrestle with him.
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In fact, when I told the baby, “no, no” as he started to crawl into the bathroom, his big brother again came to his aid- this time by grabbing his little feet and pulling him backwards into the living room.  Ironically, the baby loved it.  He smiled all the way, just as he often does when he is being sat on or wrestled with.  As long as his brothers aren’t too rough with him, he loves the attention.
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As I began to reflect on our sons, I had to ask, “do I love God’s attention in the same way our baby loves the attention from his brothers?”  Think of it this way, if God were to grab our feet and pull us away from trouble, would we be grateful for it, or would we feel mistreated by Him?
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Psalm 66 is a Psalm of appreciation and blessing to God.  It speaks of how impressive and frightening His powerful works are and then concludes with a recognition of His mercy.  Yet right in the middle of the Psalm we read of God actually causing trials in our lives and then delivering us from them.  “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.  Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.  Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.” (Ps 66:10-12)
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Notice that God caused the trials.  He brings trials to refine man just like silver is refined- to get a better product in the end.  Sometimes God gives us circumstances that we have to suffer through in order to grow us and even to give us a better life in the end.  As we go through the trials, do we get mad at Him or are we grateful that He is paying attention to us?  Our baby was grabbed by the feet and pulled to a better place.  Shouldn’t we be pleased when God brings us to a better place in our walk with Him through trials?  Shouldn’t we be happy that He cares enough about us to pay attention to us?
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As I watch our toddler wrestle with his little brother I often worry that he might get too rough and hurt the baby.  I do not need to worry when God lays affliction on our loins though.  He knows how to interact with us without going too far.  In fact, as we trust Him, we are promised not to be given more than we can bear.
  1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
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So the next time that you go through diverse trials in life, count it all joy, reacting like the baby did as he was drug from the bathroom floor to the soft carpet of the living room.