My husband and I were attending a church service when we heard the cry of a child. The fussing became muffled but didn’t stop.
A few minutes later we could hear the child being removed from the sanctuary. That is when things intensified. Not only did the crying get louder, but a little voice also started yelling, “No daddy. I don’t want to go out.” The wailing and pleading continued as the father moved to exit the building with his distraught child.
Later, upon reflection, I recognized that I have shown the same type of behaviour with my heavenly Father. When I choose not to behave the way God wants me to, I am being rebellious. I fuss and complain because I’m not getting my own way.
God may choose to remove me from the situation but that’s not what I want. Instead, my desire is for things to change to accommodate me. I let it be known that I want to stay where I am. In essence, I’m also saying, “No daddy, I don’t want to go. Let me stay here.”
In this state, there is no reasoning with me until God has my full attention. If I’m not focused on Him, I’m not hearing or understanding what He wants me to know.
God is not surprised when I act this way. Although this behaviour seems to be an inherent part of human nature, it doesn’t mean any of us are given permission to act as rebellious children.
It is only when I am still, quiet and completely focused on the Lord that my rebellious thoughts will be captured and I will no longer act like an unruly child.
“We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT)
A heavy rain had fallen overnight. We woke up to the promise of a brighter day and headed outside to breathe in the fresh, clean air that follows a summer rain.
While the ground was still damp, my husband started pulling weeds that had sprung up in our flower beds. I tackled the ones growing between the paving stones. It didn’t take long to appreciate the difference damp soil makes.
When I gently tugged, the entire root of the weed emerged from the ground. I was happy to know my efforts were eliminating the problem and not just a temporary solution.
Previous weeding experience hadn’t gone as well. When the ground was dry, often only the portion above ground broke off. Things would look better for a short time until the root produced new growth and the weed once again became visible. Hard, unyielding soil gives those kinds of results.
The analogy was not lost on me. When my attitude is hard and unyielding, the root of bitterness and discontent grows. I may be able to hide it for a short time, but it keeps reappearing.
Jesus is the master gardener who is able to get to the root of the problem. His tender loving care softens my heart so the once flourishing roots of my unhealthy behaviour can be eliminated.
When I submit fully to Jesus, there is no risk of one of these roots being left behind. He is the one who can probe to the depths of my heart, remove my sins, and give me a clean start.
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” (Romans 4: 7-8 NLT)
I turned the corner onto my street and saw one of our neighbourhood jackrabbits hopping across the road. When it heard my car approaching, the rabbit stopped right where it was – in the middle of the road. It held perfectly still as I slowly drove past.
Often I see one of these rabbits in my yard and instead of hopping away when I come close, it will freeze in position, as if to blend into the surroundings and become invisible. Such was the case when I took the picture included in this post. Some places are easier to blend into than others.
To be fair, this can be an effective survival tactic. If the rabbit can’t be seen, there will be no danger of harm.
Although this may be useful for animals, the behaviour doesn’t work the same way for people.
Someone once told me she had observed me making myself invisible when I was out of my comfort zone. I was like the rabbit on the road. I thought no one could see me but I was wrong.
My desire is to feel like I belong, that I’m part of what is going on. When it feels like this is a bigger challenge than I can handle, I withdraw to protect myself from rejection. This makes me appear aloof and unapproachable. The result is I am not drawn into the group.
In essence, what I have just done is to create the exact opposite of what I wanted. I know I’m not alone in this type of behaviour. Does it affect you, too? Let’s step out in confidence to create the lives we want and not those we fear.
We have three frog ornaments sitting on our front porch. One has its hands over the eyes, the next over the ears and the last over the mouth.
After a wind storm, I found one frog had been blown over and was now face down while covering his ears. As I went to take a picture I realized this was a representation of my own recent behaviour. I thought if I could look away and refuse to listen; maybe the problem being pointed out to me wouldn’t really exist.
My husband had gently but firmly asked me some tough questions. One of them was to confront the issue I may have an addiction. To me, this was a ridiculous thought, but I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
After wrestling with this for several days I had some questions for myself. Could the computer games I play be an addiction? I sit down at the computer to write and think, “I’ll just play a game or two before I start.” After writing a little I reward myself with a few more games. Sometimes I’m on the computer for hours with little to show for my time.
I can quickly switch screens when I hear someone approaching. The fact I don’t want to get caught means I know what I’m doing is wrong. Is it an addiction when this activity robs me of valuable time with loved ones?
The more I thought about it, the more I saw my addictive behaviour. Am I committing the ultimate self-sabotage, keeping myself from having what I most want? I deleted the games from my devices and was surprised by how difficult it was to get rid of them. That left little doubt the problem was bigger than I realized.
My next step was to go to my husband and admit to my addiction. I apologized for the time I had wasted and thanked him for loving me enough to point out my problem. I then asked for his help in keeping me accountable.
I come to you in complete vulnerability to publically admit to my addiction. Now that I have acknowledged it, I am able to work on changing my behaviour. The first step is always the hardest and I’ve already taken it.
“I cannot change or heal what I do not acknowledge.”