Stubborness. It's at the core of our being. We want things our way, on our time and in our control. I was thinking about this as I was feeding my child cereal and applesauce this morning and talking to a friend. As I was lamenting about how these bursts of stubborness come out in my child everytime I feed him, she reminded me of how this is such a vivid picture of our relationship with God.
It goes like this in the highchair...Eric is hungry and letting me know it in no uncertain terms. I make a bowl of cereal and begin to feed him a spoonful. He lets out a whiny cry, slaps my hand away and turns his head. I try again, knowing he is hungry and what I have on the spoon will satisfy his need. Again, he slaps my hand away. I give him a toy car or another spoon to distract him and shovel in spoonfuls of cereal. He's happy as soon as he tastes that oatmeal goodness, but soon realizes he is not in control of how he is getting it and starts the complaining once again. We work it out, because I've learned his tactics and have devised complicated strategies to get that bowl of cereal in my child's belly to make him happy and full.
It's the same with sleep. How many times I think, "Surrender to sleep, my child. Stop fighting it and you will be so much happier in the long run!"
Is this how I am with God? I complain that I'm hungry and yet I won't let him feed me. I am the one sitting in the highchair ready to eat from his bowl of goodness, but at the last minute I turn my head deciding I don't want what He is offering. I'm sure He has sighed at me more than once with spoon in hand knowing that my hunger could be satiated so easily with His provision. And yet, unlike the mother in me whose patience runs thin, He is eternally patient allowing me time and time again to try it my way until I eventually come running back to Him exhausted from my efforts greeted with a loving embrace and a spoonful of grace.
Oh, if only these lessons were easily learned (for my child in the highchair AND for me, the struggling child of God). And, yet the road we often travel down allows for opportunities to grow stronger and lessons not learned otherwise.
As I journey toward the cross this week, I am reminded of the control issues I won't easily let go of...wanting things done my way and in my timeframe, the inability to admit I am wrong, wanting a faster solution to problems, expecting my husband to understand what I am thinking, wanting immediate answers to questions about our future, and so many more. As a follower of Christ, his prayer to God the Father rings in my ears today, "Yet not what I will, but what you will." He chose again and again to do what the Father told him to do.
So much to learn...