Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Child Like Prayers

I remember it very clearly. Logan was 3 1/2 years old. He had pressed himself up against the wall almost has if he was digging his heels into the carpet preparing for a long hard fought battle. (As it turned out, that's what he had in mind.) "Don't wanna! Don't wanna! No, don't wanna!" He screamed, as he worked himself up, by rocking back and forth and using the wall to push off. I was baffled, I just told him to get his shoes. That's it. I was wanting to take him to the park after he had just woken up from his nap. But first he needed to get his shoes on. If only I would have said something along the lines of "We can go to the park and play after we get your shoes on." "Maybe if I would have approached it differently, we wouldn't be having this battle," I thought to myself. But I didn't give an explanation as to the need for the shoes and so now I was stuck in the middle of a meltdown. "But then again I am the parent, I know what needs to be done and I know when it needs to be done." I silently reassured myself.
I told him that once he got his shoes on we could go. He refused and became more upset. He wouldn't ask me for help, he barked at me that he didn't want to put on his shoes, he just wanted to go to the park. No matter how I responded, he was determined to stay in his mindset. He was not making the connection that I was wanting to give him exactly what he wanted, if he just cooperated with me. This had become a battle of wills and I could never give in to this ridiculous behavior. This was my child trying to dictate to me what should be done and I could not allow that, especially with such awful behavior. If I gave into this hostility and stupidity now, then I would have to deal with even more later on. I could not allow this selfishness and negativity take root because I love my son and I want him to grow as a Godly man. Proverbs 3:11-12

Then Holy Spirit impressed upon me, "Is that how you act when you pray to God?"

All I could do was laugh. I wanted to cry. In times past, it was how I prayed. And in some areas of my life, it was how I maintained my relationship with Dad. I prayed and acted like a 3 year old when I talked to God!

I wanted and demanded things of God in incomplete sentences. "Why?" "Why me?" "How much longer?" I repeated the same prayers over and over and over. "PLEEEEAAASEEE!" I would whine in a manner that I would not tolerate from my 3 year old. I told God where I wanted to go and told him that I was ready to go NOW! It didn't matter if I needed to do something before I got to go where God had intended for me to go, I was being told "Wait a moment, I need you to do something first" and that was infuriating and inconceivable! Right?

Like the ordeal Logan was putting himself and me through, I have had many tantrums because of me not getting my way. I knew what was best for myself and I just needed God's help to get it done.

Unlike Logan, I was a "mature" adult, only in the past my behavior had been much, much worse. I used foul language and insulted Dad when I had my meltdowns. I questioned His love for me. I questioned His intelligence. I questioned His generosity. And I did it in a disgusting manner that would leave me horrified if my child had acted in such manner. If one of my kids, who had repeatedly professed their love to me for years, suddenly vomited such nasty slop on me like what I had done to God, I would be in tears. I would find it very, very difficult to forgive. It would take a lot for me to overcome such a selfish, ungrateful, nasty behavior such as what I have exhibited in times past.

Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Mathew 7:9-11

With all my shortcomings, selfish interests and the sin in my life I still want to give the best to my kids. How much more will my Holy Dad be able to give me because He is God and not because of what I do or don't do.

Just like I could not stop loving Logan because of his bad behavior and irrational thinking, I know God could never stop loving me. I believe this because I believe what the Bible says about God and me. I have also seen the love my Dad has for me because of the love I have for my kids. Even when I have been caught up in my selfish, shortsighted behavior, God is always there and He always will be there! He will never give up on me no matter how I act. Thankfully, He has matured me, He has lovingly corrected me and I have realized His love and the love of His correction. Revelation 3:19

Logan's meltdown took so long, that by time he had calmed down and apologized for his behavior, it had begun raining. He held his ground for nearly 2 hours. Unbelievable, he spent 2 hours inside, in a miserable mood instead of spending the time at the park playing with others and his daddy.

Hmmmm? How many times have I missed out on God's goodness and doing what I wanted to do because of my child like prayers?


Tracy said...

Wow - profound post. I have been just like Logan way too many times in the past. I'm so grateful for our merciful Father who loves me anyway.

Tony C said...

For me...too many times brother.

As parents, when have the ultimate role model when it comes to patience...among everything else we might need.