There are times when God reaches out His restraining hand and catches His child before he runs out into a street of sin chasing after a ball of worldly desire. There is a deadly danger there that God ‘s grace and Christ’s atonement protects us from as we grow into mature faith. There are other times when that same Fatherly hand pulls back from the child who ignores the warnings and reaches for the hot pan. The temporary sting of sin is a protective grace that instructs and reminds us that sin is a viper to be killed not a puppy to be cuddled. The Father’s soothing hand then moves in quickly as we confess our foolishness and rebellion to provide the greater reminder that though we are at times very poor sons and daughters, we are sons and daughters nonetheless. And we will never be anything less- precious children who will one day grow up to be like our eldest brother, Jesus.