Balloons are delightful to children. It is fun to watch their amused looks and wonder at the brightly colored ball floating through the air attached to a string they hold tight in their hands. I remember each of my children smiling wide as the balloon followed them with just a little encouraging tug on the string. They all also felt the deep disappointment when they momentarily eased their grip and the balloon floated away up into the heavens. Oh, they watched their blue, pink or yellow flier climb high and become smaller and smaller. They expected it to come back but it never did. It was gone, for good.
One of my first mothering experiences with a runaway balloon came when my first daughter was maybe two or three. At first, Erin was surprised that her toy was moving away, and then her surprise turned into tears. I began to comfort her and told her that God would take care of her balloon, and that I was very sure He was happy that she let it go up to Him. With tear filled eyes, Erin turned to me and said, "But I don't want God to have my balloon!"
I've discovered that same story lives in me. There are somethings dear to my heart that I hold onto very tight. I grasp and try so very hard to keep my treasure close. Inevitably it slips away from me, maybe by the gentle tug of my Heavenly Father who really does know what is best for me. I am surprised, because I've fought so hard to keep them close. Then I am brokenhearted to lose what I thought was so precious. I watch with impossible hope, my heart following after the lost possession.
I feel empty. I am empty handed and I cry out that I don't want God to have what belongs to me! I sense the loss, and my eyes fill with tears. I don't want to let go. I do not want God to have my home, family, career, ministry or a million other things. They belong to me, don't they? The truth is that those idols I grasped so tightly were never mine. I was bound to them. My Lord God is a jealous God, wanting me for His own! He desires my freedom from bondage and will set me free even if it causes me some momentary pain. Oh, what a Good God He is!
God of wonder and infinite love, You loosen the strings and ropes that bind me to people, places and things, not so that I will be hurt, but so that I will be set free! You set me free so that You can be greater in me and for me! You are Good. Thank You for taking away those tethers that tie me down. Thank You for setting me free to reach upwards to You and come closer to You! Forgive me when I forget that I am the balloon set free. Forgive me for wanting to be tied down more than to fly high to You! Remind me always that You are my Freedom, You are my Deliverer, You are where my treasure lies! God I want You to have all of me!