Without Limits

Blog 5.3.2022

Without Limits

We had some additional concrete poured for our front driveway and back patio this last week. We simply wanted to have a little more space to drive and walk across. It was a relatively quick and straightforward process; one day to prepare the area and another day to pour the concrete. However, once you pour the cement, a few more guidelines need to be followed. It takes at least 24 hours for the concrete to be strong enough to walk on. The common thought is that the longer you wait, the better it will be; the full curing process takes about 28 days, but you can drive on the surface after one week. Hard materials will scratch the surface during the first 72 hours, so things like dog nails and most toys should be kept off the new cement for at least that time. Having small children made this some of the most nerve-wracking 72 hours of my life. Each of our boys wanted to see and touch the new material, and in their thinking, concrete is hard right? How hard is it? When will it be strong enough for me to walk on it? Can I scratch it? It was exhausting. Making a kid stay away from what appears to be an invisible barrier is almost impossible, and it made me think of something that I had never connected before. 

In the book of Exodus, God instructs the people not to approach Mt Sinai. 

Exodus 19:10-13 

“And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. 13 They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”

“Be close but not too close.” I have always read that sentiment from the mindset of a mature adult. But now that I am a parent, this is a terrifying thought. I have a hard time wrangling my children in an unrestricted park or a newly poured patio. I can’t imagine what it would be like to keep my boys from wandering toward the foot of a rattling, shaking mountain. For Milo, it would be like a moth to a flame, drawing closer and closer to an impressive display of God’s magnificence. And now I have to be worried about someone shooting them with arrows! It is enough to turn all of my hairs gray. 

In an instance like this, you could imagine the complexity of remaining in the Israelite camp. And many people still feel this way today. How do we draw close to God and maintain the reverence He deserves? How do we approach the foot of the mountain without breaking the limits in place? For a parent, it sometimes seems like these are constantly opposing positions. Children, boundaries, and reverence rarely go hand-in-hand with a four-year-old. And that is why one of the most liberating passages comes in Matthew 19.

Matthew 19:13-14 
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Jesus is not an unapproachable mountain. On the contrary, he is a welcoming Servant King. He has not placed a boundary on his availability or accessibility. Instead, he allows everyone to approach and be changed by him. He is a Savior without limits.