“Time for chores!” Then the whining starts. The child abhors laundry. Absolutely hates it. Crying, whining and begging commence. My shoulders slump. My head drops. She dances around. Shakes out the shirt for the seventh time. The other kids have finished and are eating. Three things are folded and ten more are still in the pile. Dancing, shaking, whining. An hour later it is finally finished and she gets her lunch. I need chocolate.
“Time to clean up for supper!” Then the argument starts. This one is new to clean up duty and isn’t happy about it. He needs help. He sits there and watches. Nope, it isn’t going to work that way. He can’t. It’s too hard. My head hits the table. On and on the whining goes. The other kids are eating. And still he cries and demands help. Finally it is finished and he eats. I need chocolate.
Are we any better? Our kids’ behavior is often a good reflection of our behavior toward God.
Israelites have left Egypt. A pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. Manna, and quail divinely provided. Here is the promised land I AM giving you. Whining, crying, disbelief. We can’t. It is too hard. They are too big. And they wander when they could be eating giant fruit, milk and honey.
Are we any better? Have we learned anything? We so often respond to God the same way our kids respond to us and the way the Israelites so often responded to Him.
“I want you to go to this church.” But they don’t have this program or that ministry. It is too far. It is too hard. I can’t.
“I want you to go into missions.” But it is expensive, and far, and I’ll be alone. It is too hard. I can’t.
“I want you to go into ministry.” But school is expensive. I don’t have time. It is too hard. I can’t.
“I need you to move to this city.” It is too far. My friends and family are here. It is too hard. I can’t.
“I want you to adopt.” But it is expensive. What about my current children. It is too hard. I can’t.
We have so much to learn. Faith is hard, but it is worth it. We have good things planned for our children; we just need them to do what we ask so that we can do the good thing. It is the same with God. He is planning good things for us, we just need to follow, obey, and have faith. Even when we can’t see what good is coming.
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
-Matthew 7:11 (see also Luke 11:13)