Trust and Obey

Recently,  my youngest chose, yet again, to try and forgo her dinner. We've tried lots of things to get her to eat and nothing has worked. In her mind, she has been in control. So, I decided that we would try the renown "save it for breakfast" technique. I was very clear with her that if she didn't eat it for dinner she would have to eat it for breakfast the next day. Being the stubborn, strong willed child she is, she refused to eat. She was sitting at the table, (hopefully weighing her options) and I was washing dishes, when she asked in a pitiful voice;

"Mommy, do you still love me."

Needless to say, I stopped washing dishes and went over to her and pulled her onto my lap. I told her that I absolutely love her and that is why I have to make her do hard things. I hugged her and kissed her cheek and told her that it's my job to train her to be a good, kind young lady and that I love her so much I am willing to do the hard stuff to make sure that happens.

But, I must say, it was hard.

She got up the next mornig and went without breakfast..and lunch...and finally gave in at dinner time. Ugh. I hate watching my baby go hungry. I would hate even more, though, for her to grow up thinking she gets to dictate everything in her life all the time. I would hate for her to grow up thinking that I was willing to cater to her every whim. I would hate for that to filter into her relationship with Jesus.

I was driving somewhere that morning, wondering how long she would choose to suffer before relenting, when I heard that gentle whisper, in the form of a question.

"It's hard loving someone so much, isn't it?"

"Ya, Lord, it is. How do you do it?"

Truth is, I so often fight him on things that are meant for my good! I so often needlessly suffer in my heart and mind because I am so stubborn! How much does that pain my Father? He loves me so much and I know he hates to watch me suffer, to go "hungry", just like I had to do with my baby.

I told her many times that night and again the next day that if she would just sit down and eat, she would no longer be miserable and she could go on with her day and enjoy it. But, she chose the hard road.

I choose the hard road sometimes.

We all do. Parenting isn't easy, but love never is. God is more interested in our character and outcome than our immediate satisfaction. Boy, do I fight that one sometime! I think the reality is a little more clear for me now of just how much pain it brings my Father when I refuse his good things. I hated going through that day with my daughter. I dreaded getting up and facing the "battle" because I knew it would be long and grueling. How much more does it pain my Papa in Heaven to know what's coming, to pursue me so diligently, only to have me fold my arms in defiance and tell him "NO!"

Just as I am praying that my little "iron lady" will soften and "see the light", I realize that God is always working to soften my heart, to show me the light of his grace and beckoning me to trust his love for me. He will never choose a path for me that isn't meant for my good. Oh, the good paths are always the hardest and so I will have to do a lot of relenting, a lot of submitting, but knowing how much I am loved should fill me with humility. I have good things in mind for my little girl, but she has to submit to my authority for those things to happen. God has even better things in mind for us, but we have to submit to his authority for those things to happen.

Give me the grace, Jesus, to be a good mom, but also a good follower. Show me the areas where I turn away from your prodding and give me the courage to relent...until all of it is yours.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,   for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go,  for to you I entrust my life. Psalms 143:8

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