A couple of weeks ago, God taught me a big lesson from what could have seemed like a relatively insignificant situation with my two-year-old nephew. I’ve been meaning to write this, but just haven’t gotten around to it. So…here it is…
We sat down to dinner one night (my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and me) and told Paul that we were all going to go to the store when we were done. He was very excited about that. Because Paul sometimes has trouble with eating all of his food, part of the deal with going to the store was that he had to finish all of his dinner. After about an hour of waiting on him to finish, it was determined that Bradley and Kati would go to the store on their own, and I would stay home with Paul. He was devastated. He cried and cried. And my heart hurt too. After a few minutes, he calmed down and life went on with truck playing and bath taking. He even recounted what had happened and explained to me that he could not go to the store with Mommy and Daddy because he “didn’t finish all his pat-sta” (that’s “pasta” in Paul-speak).
In the scheme of life, this situation was not anything huge. So, the two-year-old didn’t get the desired outcome he was going for. I’m sure it happens with kids all the time. But that night, in that moment, I believe that God allowed me to feel a little bit of what He must feel when He is forced to discipline us as his children. I was so sad for Paul. You have to understand that he literally had half a bite of pasta left. That’s it. Half a bite was all that stood between him and a trip to the store.
How many times is that me as I attempt to relate to God in my finite way of understanding? How many times does He ask me to take a small step, or follow through on something that may seem like a little detail? And how many times do I chose to prefer my own way or think I can get away without complete obedience?
And, how much does God’s heart break when He decides the most loving thing for me is to discipline me? How sad is He when He sees the end result, and knows it’s a small, small step He’s asking me to take, but I just refuse to take it?
As I typed this, I’m not sure it made sense, and I know there’s not a pretty ending. But, it makes sense to me. And if I typed it just to reinforce the lesson for myself, then so be it. God will use His truth to continue molding and shaping my heart into the person He needs me to be.