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)
The recreation facility has side-by-side pools. In one was the aquafit class I attend. The other had children’s swimming lessons happening at the same time.
One morning I watched with amusement as a young boy was so interested in our class he couldn’t pay attention to his teacher. With great effort, she managed to get him to look at her. Seconds later he had turned to watch us again. Eventually, she moved him to the far side of the pool to minimize the distraction.
This would have been funny if it hadn’t been a reflection of my life. After all, I seemed to be paying more attention to him than my instructor! This brought to mind the times I’ve been equally distracted.
Just as the child was receiving lessons when his attention wandered, I have prayed for guidance and not held still long enough to receive it.
I want God’s direction in my life. He is more than willing to give it. When I ask and then get distracted and let my mind wander, it’s unlikely I will receive the wisdom God wants to impart. There may be snippets that register but much is lost due to my inattention.
The Lord has promised to instruct and teach me. His loving eyes see when I’m not paying attention. The Bible also says, “Come close to God, and he will come close to you.” In order to live the full life he has in store for me, I need to be looking at him.
Come close to God, and he will come close to you. (James 4:8 GWT)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8 NIV)
Have you ever been caught in a situation that took you by surprise and left you wondering what happened?
That was my experience recently. The situation itself is not important, how I dealt with it is what I need to focus on.
I sought a neutral party for guidance in how to proceed. After listening attentively to my story, I was asked how I was doing. My immediate response was, “I’m alright.” After assurance that this really was the case, we moved on.
The truth was that although I knew I would be alright, at that moment I was hurting. The person I was speaking to was in demand from other sources so I decided it was better not to add to her burden.
When I examined this the next day, I realized that this was a self-defeating behavior. By not acknowledging my feelings, I didn’t allow the other person the opportunity to comfort and reassure me. It was not my place to decide that for someone else.
Deep in my subconscious was the lie that I didn’t deserve the time and attention another was freely offering. I was suddenly struck by the thought that it’s not only other people I do this with. I have done the same with God.
Frequently I feel that my little issues are not worth taking to him. He has much more important things to take care of. That, however, is not the way God works. He cares about every aspect of my life and is always willing to give me the comfort and guidance I need. All I need to do is ask.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalm 139:23NIV)