Meditations | Independent Toddlers

No, I’m not starting a #Dadblog. I’m definitely not one of those types. So don’t worry your little heart, but I am going to talk about being a whiny, bratty, rotten toddler. And I’m going to accuse you of being that too. You have anxiety, you cry, you throw tantrums. You’re probably nothing more than a grown toddler.

Now think of that toward perfection, think of that toward our Father in Heaven. It’s funny because when we’re little-and I’ve mentioned this before-we look up to our parents for everything, including how to act. We instantly become embarrassed as a toddler when we see other children acting up or screaming in a store because that’s how we act sometimes. Now think about it like this, we’re in a stressful situation and maybe no one is helping. Our advice from our friends suck, our hypothetical partner isn’t helping and we’re a sobbing, angry, anxious mess.

Now, as a parent looking at a toddler doing this, we’re instantly annoyed to no end. Why can’t they just quit and realize it’s not that bad! Why can’t they just know this is for the best? Why….we ask. God asks the same thing, he wonders why we’re not listening, why we’ve blocked Him out in all of our anxiety and urge for control. He doesn’t understand why we can’t just give in and stop sobbing.

In the Bible we are told either by angels, by prophets or by God himself to “Fear not”. 365 times in the King James Version of the Bible is this phrase used or something like it.

In Genesis 15:1, God comes to Abram and tells him “Fear not, for I am your shield; your reward shall be very great”. Why would a non-personal, inauthentic, creator care so much about one man? Even though God chose him as his patriarch for a civilization, why would he care that much to reassure him of anything?

After the Israelites are established as a nomadic nation, God comes to Joshua, the chosen leader of the people and tells him multiple times to “not fear” within the same conversation! Joshua 1:9 starts off with “Have I not commanded you?”

Finally, we get to the most quoted part of scripture that we can look at concerning this, and at this point I think it’s amazing. Over thousands of years God told whoever He was speaking to, “Don’t be afraid”. It reminds me of helping a toddler on the monkey bars. We tell them don’t be afraid! I’ve got you! Just put your hand over hand on the bars and you’ll make it through. We even make feeble attempts to show them. No matter what we do, they still look at us in sheer terror. “Mom/Dad, I’m afraid”, “Mom/Dad, I can’t do this”, “Mom/Dad, will you hold me?”

In Isaiah 41:10 God tells the coastlands through Isaiah the prophet, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will Strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous righthand.” But this time, after thousands of years of saying this, He says something else in Isaiah 41: “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand…” Thats the kicker isn’t it?

We go and tell them on the monkey bars what to do, how to do it and we reassure them we aren’t going to let them fall. More often than not, what happens? We end up holding them across. God finally said, “you’re incapable of trusting in me as I want, so I’m going to make sure you know I’m there. I will walk with you and hold your hand through it.”

We as adults are nothing more than independent toddlers. We make the wrong choices, we disagree with what God explicitly tells us to do, and just like the Israelites we go after every shiny thing that comes along. What happens when bad things happen then? What happens when God chastises us? What happens when everything falls apart? We run to Him. We tell Him we’ve been bad, we tell Him we’ve screwed up, we tell Him the horrible rotten things about us, because He’s the only one that can make them stop.

As I’ve said before in prior posts, God always gives us an exodus. Even if we have to pay for our bad choices we know he is “Faithful and Just to forgive us of our sins”, it may not be that moment and it may not be a year later, but God will always make sure He holds our hands through it. Because you and I are far short of glorified adulthood in the eyes of God.

Meditations | A Light Burden

Today I thought we would do something a little different than we usually do. I thought we would perform a commentary on a certain aspect of scripture, almost like an expository sermon. I feel like we as Christians need to hear this message specifically, not because we don’t know it, but because we don’t actually practice it.

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Meditations | Forgiveness

Ah, the hardest part of our charge as Christians toward the world. It’s even harder than loving the world, even though these two go hand in hand. This thing, this forgiveness, is something that is often misunderstood and almost as misunderstood in Christianity as the word “love”. These two terms have taken a whole other meaning in our modern lexicon. 

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7. What is Love // The Application of the extraordinary

So we have finally arrived at our final lesson. You all have read 6 posts and over 7000 words on the analysis of what love should mean to a Christian, but even if we can explain to everyone that love is a choice and the emotions we feel as humans are simply an incomplete echo of the divine: how do we show that choice in our lives? What exactly do we need to do daily to show that we choose to love? 

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Perfect Peace

Often times we are heavy laden with burdens from life. However, we are promised as Christians to be placed in perfect peace by God, if we do one thing. In Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah through the Spirit tells us “You [God] will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you”.

When we are children, our trust is completely upon our parents and as parents we see that tremendous responsibility of having children. They rely completely in us, on us, for us. As we grow up, I think we tend to forget how that is; however, when everything is stripped from you and your life is in many others’ hands, we see very quickly how easy it is to remember to trust in our Father in Heaven.

In Proverbs 3, Solomon tell us to acknowledge (put in trust) God in “in all our ways” (Prov. 3:5+6). When Isaiah talks about the mind being stayed on God, he is talking precisely about this. Just as children we relied on our parents to have a stocked fridge, bills paid, good advice and $20 for the movies we need to rely on our Father in heaven the same. If we acknowledge our God at dinner, at work, when we wake and when we sleep, We can only help but be kept in perfect peace because we have an absolutely good Father in heaven that is all powerful to help us.

In Isaiah as well, God tells us two more things. In Isaiah 1, God tells Isaiah “Come, let us reason together”, or in otherwords, let us discuss together. God wants us to wrestle, to talk with him. He wants us to ask for things, His Son told us that the sparrows don’t worry. Neither do the flowers, so why do we? Finally, God tells us simple in Isaiah 43:26 to remind him of his promises that we may be justified in our actions. Remind our Father what He promised, and He will deliver us.

If we do this continually, He will keep us in perfect peace.