This is going to be long, but hopefully it will encourage someone and be worth the read.
There are many times in life where we are presented with a chance to further our knowledge of the nature of God and His role in our lives. Recognizing these moments, listening to what the Spirit has to say about them, and clinging to it as truth can sometimes be difficult (especially if it’s a lesson we don’t necessarily want to hear.) It’s oh so important, however.
I can honestly say that nothing has taught me more about God and His role as our Father than being a father myself. I look at Kati and see such a direct correlation between how she works out her life as a small child and how I operate in my Christian life. I have those “A ha!” moments all the time, in which I gain vital insight into the parent-child relationship. It’s both encouraging and convicting at once.
Let us begin examining these revelations by looking at the psychology of a 3-4 year old. They are impatient. They demand immediate gratification. They have an innate sense of entitlement and self-importance. They are the center of their own universe. They love their parents dearly; however, this affection can quickly be forgotten in a moment of disappointment and the child will withdraw. That hits a little too close to home, to be honest.
There have been plenty of times where I’ll see Kati trying to do something unwise and very likely to end up with her lying on the ground crying. “Don’t do that, sweety. You could get hurt.” Sometimes she listens. Sometimes she chooses to ignore my advice and do things her own way. Invariably the law of gravity or energy conservation or thermonuclear physics will win over the will of a four year old and she ends up getting hurt. The only way I can prevent this is to restrain her or remove her from the situation. Sometimes, I let her continue (assuming it’s nothing actually dangerous) so she can learn from the fall. I’ll watch her do this at times and think, “Why doesn’t she just listen to me? Why can’t she just trust that I know what’s best for her?” At those times I can just picture God raising an eyebrow at me and muttering, “Tell me about it.”
How many times have I tried to take the wheel and steer my own ship, throwing caution to the wind and heeding no warnings? I forge ahead on the road of my choosing, my path set in my mind and my will bent on doing it my way. It’s not until I’ve run out of road that I stop, turn around and have to admit, “You were right. I should have done it Your way.”
Children inevitably do what they’re told not to do. The sky is blue. Water is wet. Children rebel. “Kati, don’t do that….. Kati, don’t do that…. Kati, don’t do that!” As a parent, you wonder, “Why won’t she just get it in her head that she’s not in charge around here?” And the Creator of the entire cosmos said, “Tell me about it.”
There have been other instances where she desperately wants something that she can’t have. In some cases it’s something that would actually be bad for her, and sometimes it’s just that her mother and I have something better in store for her later on. She’s not yet big enough to grasp that concept. Sometimes, neither am I. When Kati doesn’t get what she wants right away, there’s a chance she’ll accept it and move on. There’s also a chance that she’ll throw a big defiant fit, protesting against our decisions for her. The one word refrain each parent dreads: “Why?” “Why can’t I go outside and play?” “Why can’t I have a snack?” ….. “Why can’t I get ahead in my job?” “Why isn’t our house selling?”
We continually operate from a mindset that we are the master of our own destinies. We decide what is best for us, and by golly, if God doesn’t help out, well, then, God must not love us. How foolish we must seem to Him, continually seeking out the substandard goods and services of the world and repeatedly turning our noses to all things righteous.
It’s time we, as Christians, cease looking to God as a vending machine and servant, and instead come to Him as a child to their Father. Respect is to be given to His authority, and obedience to His word. At a men’s conference I went to a couple of weeks ago, there was a fine gentleman who gave us this mantra, “My comprehension is not a prerequisite for my cooperation.” The word says the same, albeit a bit more poetically.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Amen to that.
~ Mosecrest out