A 3 years old a child begins to gain more independence, wanting to do things by themselves.
You will commonly hear them say “I can do it ALL BY MYSELF“. A parent knows the task is a little too complicated for them, but patiently stands back allowing them to figure out that they are just unable to do it by themselves. Soon the child will ask after feeling defeat “Can you help me?”

A 3 year old also knows how to test the waters of independence. So they sit along the shore of rebellion…dipping one toe at a time waiting for an adult to pull them back and tell them “NO!”. The tide is always high at the sea of rebellion, a dangerous shore indeed. Sometimes our children will get in too deep and a parent needs to forcefully pull them back or push them out of the way to avoid certain danger. But a 3 year doesn’t understand how close to danger they really were.

As with most children, our 3 year old has been testing those very waters.

One day I was trying to get her to leave the garage, a place full of dangerous ‘toys’. She has a tendency to purposely detour herself when she knows you have a direction for her to go. On this particular occasion I had my hand on her back so I could gently guide her back on the right track if she felt lead to take a detour.
She turned around and said “Stop pushing me!”
I told her, “I’m not pushing you, I’m just guiding you.”

How many times in life do we As Christians tell God “I can do it MYSELF!” only to find out the task is too deep for us. So reluctantly we come back and say “Actually Lord, I can’t do this by myself. Can you help me?”
And our heavenly father smiles and reaches out to help us.
Or how about when God is leading us in a particular direction and we decide to take a detour wading ever too close to the sea of rebellion. We are either sight seeing or maybe we feel there is a shortcut to success,
God will gently put his hand on our back to guide us back in the right direction, but if we are too close to danger God has to push us out of the way to avoid a collision.
Do you realize God is only trying to steer you in the right direction, or do you tell him “Stop pushing me!!

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:10 NIV)