When God Tries to Take Your Blankie

Have you ever been clutching something only to feel God tugging it from your clenched fists?

Have you ever been angry that He seemed to be tearing away something that was perfectly good in your life for no apparent reason?

When my daughter was little, she had a blankie. I didn’t discourage the blankie at all. It seemed like a perfectly suitable accessory for a toddler. Besides being a source of comfort and courage for her, Hannah’s blankie inspired great creativity on her part as she found myriad ways to wear it as clothing.

I have photos of her using it as everything from a turban to a skirt to a shelter to a whip. Quite a versatile security item if you ask me!

One Sunday morning though, her blankie became a problem. We were enjoying the worship service from a glassed-in family area in the back of our church where mothers and dads with small children could let their toddlers roam but still participate in worship.

Hannah had been toddling around dragging her blankie and it was getting tangled around her feet. At one point, she was so tangled that she became frustrated and confused at her inability to move. Clutching just one corner of her blankie, she had no idea that her treasured item of comfort and security was, in fact, exactly what was keeping her pinned to one spot, unable to move about freely and step forward.

When I could see she wasn’t going to figure it out on her own, I walked over and began to remove the impediment. She wailed and fought me as if I were removing an appendage. Her frustration escalated to fear and panic as I pulled at the blankie and finally had to pry the fingers of her fist off the last corner in order to untangle the mini-mess she’d made.

I can imagine the thoughts in her sweet little head. “What’s going on? Mom GAVE me this blankie! There’s nothing wrong with my blankie. I wasn’t doing anything wrong with it! I didn’t hit anyone with it. I even take care of my blankie! Why would she take away something SHE gave me? Especially when she KNOWS I love it!”

Finally free, she plopped onto her little bottom for a moment and had an angry pout, refusing to even look in my direction. Once she was calm and back on her feet, I returned her blanket to her and it remained with her through the morning with no further incident.

Sometimes, we don’t see things clearly. We don’t always have enough distance from a situation to know there is a simple solution. But God can see.

And sometimes He sees that something precious to us, something that isn’t bad or sinful, but something to which we’ve been clinging for security has actually begun to trip us up. His goal for us is that He will be our only security but when we are toddlers in the faith, I think He is patient with our process until, that is, we become so tangled in our alternate security, that we will probably not be able to move forward unless He takes it away – sometimes for a short time, sometimes for good.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a home or being surrounded by family but at one point, God called Abraham to leave all that – even though it was good – and trust God to be his entire source of security. He spoke to Abraham in a vision saying: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1b

At that time, a family was a person’s protection. It was vital to be part of a clan or tribe. The bigger the tribe, the better the security! And home and children were a man’s reward for all his labors but at the time of God’s words to Abraham, he had only a tent and a wife who could not conceive.

God was untangling Abraham’s fisted fingers (and freeing his mind and his heart) from every security blanket but the Lord. It’s not that loving home and hearth was wrong but God was freeing Abraham to love something greater and we are all blessed by what God did through this one man. God, eventually, provided Abraham with children and Abraham made His home with God. It was all a much better adventure than he would have had if he’d stayed where he lived back in Ur.

Are you tangled up in something good today? Are you frustrated that you seem to be stuck, unable to move forward? Have you been fighting God’s attempts to untangle you from your security blanket?

Open your hand, loved one. Let it go. Fall back onto God like a child who closes his eyes and falls into a cool lake on a hot summer day. He is the God of Abraham and He is your God as well. If He’s taking something away from you, as confusing and painful as it is, know that He sees a bigger picture, a greater story than any of us do from where we sit.

There’s nothing wrong with a blankie until it begins to trip us up. Trust that God is just trying to free you and be willing to pitch your tent in the center of His adventurous will.

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    The Conversation

  1. You are so outrageously dead-on. I love it. Yes, we have all had (and still have, blankies).Letting go to let God sounds easy–try falling off the ropes and then you’ll know how much you trust Him. Beautiful post, Lori

  2. sreno7 says:

    In two more days it appears I won’t have a home for two weeks, I have a dog and a cat, my 20 year old daughter and a house full of “stuff” I prayed for God to let me stay here in my home but I can’t, I prayed that He would show me where I can go, where I can store my things, how I can clean and pack He hasn’t. I get this article but it is easier to read from the comfort of a secure home than when panicking. I need to not panic I get it, but how

  3. sreno7, If you could see the “house” from which I’m writing, you’d know that I write from deep experience of living with great material instability and uncertainty – There is nothing easy about letting go of earthly security and completely trusting God. Easy has NOTHING to do with it. I will pray for you – truly – and I encourage you to reach out to the believers around you for help and for prayer. There are no easy answers but there is a loving God standing with us when we are living amidst the rubble.