I picked my three year old, Ruthie, up from AWANA one night, and when we were driving home we took a way we had been before but not a lot. Keep in mind, I am picking her up when I am usually putting her to bed any other night of the week, so she is usually very tired by the time I get her. Anyway, we’re driving down this road and Ruthie starts telling me, “MOM! This is NOT the way home! I want to go HOME!” I proceeded to tell her that how I knew where we going and how we were going home. Even by the time we got home, she was still pouting about the direction we took home.
This is not the only time she has done this – but it still amazes me how a three year old with no driving experience tries to tell me how and where to drive like I don’t know how to get where we’re going. I’ve been driving 5 times longer than she’s even been alive – what makes her think she knows better than me??
Even though this really does make me laugh every time it happens, God showed me how we treat Him way worse when He does that same thing. We ask for Him to come through in our ministry/finances/health/family/etc., but then blame and yell and tell Him how He should do things differently when it doesn’t look like how we want it to look. Sometimes when we get to the destination we’re glad because – surprise – God knew what He has doing all along (like he’s been around for an infinite amount of time and we have been alive a super short amount of time in comparison – go figure)!
But sometimes, like Ruthie, we still pout because the outcome or the journey were not what WE wanted or what WE expected or what WE prayed for God to do. We decide to hold onto our feelings instead of surrendering them to God to change. We decide to mope instead of moving on. We decide to not see what God did or is doing, and instead focus on how He fell short on what we wanted Him to do. We blame others for not being where we wanted to be.
But the drive to our eternal home is not really ours at all if we have truly surrendered all to Christ. The journey is to make much of God. The journey is about trusting the Holy Spirit to do HIS job. The journey is to make us more like Jesus!!
Romans 5:2-5 says, “…through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
James 1:2-5 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Are you persevering? Where does your hope stand? When things aren’t going how you want it to, do you consider it a joy? Are you seeing what God is producing in and through you, or focusing on the faults of yourself and others around you? Are you keeping Christ on the throne? Are you relying on the Holy Spirit poured into your heart to show you where to go next?
Dear Lord Jesus, Help me not assume things about your way like an obstinate toddler, but let me joyfully follow you like an obedient child! I admit I have had a bad attitude and have doubted what you have wanted to do in my life. Help me to see the bigger picture and trust that you know best in my life. It’s in your name I pray…
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.