As I was nursing my son to sleep last night, I was praying for him. That he would grow up to know Christ, that he would have ears to listen to the wise ones in his life, that he would eventually outgrow this stage of tantrums. As I spoke that last phrase in my head, my eyes filled with tears. As God gently nudged me, I had this thought.
How often have I thrown myself down and kicked and screamed when it came to my walk with God?
As I began reflecting on the events that can cause my young son to melt down or act out, I saw some comparisons in my own life.
Example 1: Joseph loves being outside. He loves swinging and sliding. He will walk around and dig in leaves and dirt. Usually, he melts down when I bring him inside. He desperately wants to be roaming around and doing his own thing.
How often have I fallen down, digging in my heels, as God is trying to take me on a journey with Him? How often have I screamed and cried about changes in life that will ultimately bring me to the next part of my life with Christ?
Example 2: Joseph loves to eat, and typically meals aren’t a huge issue. But every once in awhile, he doesn’t really care for what we offer him. As you can imagine, this usually results in him spitting it out or throwing it off his tray. After a few tries, he will start waving his hands to make sure we can’t get the spoon to his mouth.
How often have I ignored, spat out, rejected, or waved off God’s truth because it was too hard to swallow? Too bitter and difficult to taste? Too offensive? How often have I complained about what blessings I do have because I wanted different or bigger ones?
Example 3: Joseph loves to investigate the bathrooms. He pulls down the hand towels, flushes the toilet, and inevitably, he wants to carry around the plunger. Naturally, I don’t want him running around with the cesspool of bacteria that surely resides on the plunger. Often, when I refuse to let him carry it around, he fusses and flops down on the ground.
How often have I screamed and cried because I felt God was taking something away from me I had a right to? Perhaps He is taking something away that won’t be best for me in the long run or taking something away to give me something better.
As I reflect on these, I am reminded about a man of God who had to deal with all of these issues. Abraham was asked to leave his home country and go to a place God would show him. (Genesis 12) He was given God’s covenant-which promised many children and land among other things-when he had no heir and was living in a foreign country. (Genesis 17) He was asked to give up Issac, his only son and the fulfillment of God’s covenant. (Genesis 22)
In Hebrews, he is honored because of his great faith and trust in God.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
I want Abraham’s faith. Faith that stands up instead of melting when asked to do the hard stuff of life.