I was sitting with our elementary boys the other day realizing just how often I act like a little kid with God. Not in a good way with childlike faith but in a bad way with my childishness and selfishness.
Child A asked me if I would mind coming to have lunch with him at school one day this week. His motives were pure and he really longs for the time and companionship of just enjoying my company. Child B heard Child A and then asked if I would mind bringing him McDonalds to the school for lunch one day. His motives were selfish and he merely wanted the reward or blessing or gift that he would receive from me if I showed up. In fact, he would have been fine with me just dropping off the food and not coming by to visit him at all.
I wonder how many times I prayed and hoped that God would just drop off my blessing or prayer request at the door like Mr FedEx Man. It saddened me to realize that I too can act like Child B really wanting God to be my spiritual lottery ticket. Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I act like Child A and just seek His presence and company and worship Him solely because He is God. But l had to face reality too. There are times that I am Child B and come to God in prayer pretty much for what I can get from Him and what He can do FOR ME… oh and quickly please so that I am not too inconvenienced. Ha.
I mean, after all God, I am specific with my requests and do pray “in Jesus name” and “believe that I receive by faith when I ask without wavering” so ummmm hello can I just get what I asked for now? I asked nicely. I mean, we have not because we ask not so I’m asking…. for what I want. I. I. I. Me. Me. Me. Ugh.
That reminded me that a few months ago I took one of my teenagers phones. Oh my gosh you would have thought I had committed a heinous acts against that child. The dirty looks and silent treatment that followed as my punishment for the next few days were unbelievable. I mean, here I am with a teenage child who has anything and everything that any teenage child should have – maybe too much stuff – and because I removed one privilege that wasn’t something I “owed” the teen anyway I was punished. Reminds me of God giving Jonah some shade and then Jonah cursing God when the shade was removed. Hmmm… like that cell phone that I don’t owe the child anyway yet gets angry when its taken away. Yup, I’ve totally treated God like that before.
The pang of regret and shame hit. Oh man oh man. Sorry God. Joyce Meyer said recently “if God never did another thing for you, isn’t what He’s already done for you enough?” Yep. Sure is. But awe man, I can so recall instances when just a normal event happens (like maybe a flat tire) and I am angry and annoyed and completely losing my salt & lightness because I’ve been inconvenienced. As if somehow I am owed something when in fact I am owed nothing.
Lord, I thank you for everything that you’ve done for me even though I don’t deserve it. Forgive me for my childish ways and thank you for covering that immaturity of mine with your unbelievable love, mercy and grace.
And oh how I love the spiritual lessons I’m constantly learning from these kids. I’ve learned so much about myself in the process. And I love what I’ve learned about YOU in the process. You are such an amazing, good and loving Father. If I had to deal with myself I might never bless me with another thing ever. But you’re so gracious and loving and caring and continue to provide and love and nurture and work on me regardless.
You. Are. Awesome.