Today I watched Ava Grace as she whined and wriggled in her mom's lap. Heather and I were having a tea together, and Ava wanted tea. She was charming in her petition, as usual. She scrunched up her nose, and pleaded with mom. When mom said NO, Ava turned to Granny - a last resort.
"Please, Granny, can I have a tea?"
Heather reminded Ava, "I said No."
Ava retorted, "I'm asking GRANNY!"
Of course, Ava is a big girl now, and she understands no, and she also knows that when Mommy says no, she means no. Granny is an easier mark, but we won't go there.
As I observed Ava, I thought about how I, too, want what I want when I want it. I don't want to wait on God for the goodies. I want it now. I also don't want to trust Him with what is best for me - I think I know it perfectly. I act just like a three-year-old who wants a cup of tea.
Tim Challies posted the following today. It's worth the read:
This week, in the course I am taking with CCEF, I read David Powlison’s reflections on Psalm 131. And as he teaches the Psalm, he re-writes it as the exact opposite—rather an interesting teaching technique. But rather an effective one, I’d say.
So here is Psalm 131, words I’m sure you know well.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;my eyes are not raised too high;I do not occupy myself with thingstoo great and too marvelous for me.But I have calmed and quieted my soul,like a weaned child with its mother;like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lordfrom this time forth and forevermore.
And here is Powlison’s anti-psalm:
Self,My heart is proudand my eyes are haughtyand I chase after things too great and too difficult for me.So of course I’m noisy and restless inside; it comes naturally,like a hungry infant fussing on his mother’s lap,like a hungry infant, I’m restless with my demands and worries.
I scatter my hopes onto anything and everybody all the time.
I can be just like a hungry infant, fussing on his mother's lap. I chase after things I think I need, rather than trusting in my Abba, my Daddy who not only knows exactly what I need, but has the means to provide everything.
How silly of me!
How lacking in faith.
Today I read about the 12 spies who went into the Promised Land to scope it out. Ten of them came back and whined. "There are giants in the land".
Then they grumbled. "Why didn't we die in Egypt?"
They fretted, "We're gonna die! Our wives and children will be prey!"
How silly of them! How childish. How lacking in faith! They didn't believe God's promise that He would give them that land flowing with milk and honey. They didn't trust Him to rout the Amalekites and the Canaanites and give them farms and buildings, wells and gardens.
They acted like a bunch of whiny-babies.
Except for Joshua and Caleb.
It's funny. All twelve of the men saw the same things. They went into the land together. They brought back the grapes and they reported on what they saw.
But Joshua and Caleb saw it all through eyes of faith and spiritual maturity,
and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”
(Numbers 14:7-9 ESV)
"It is a great land!"
God will bring us into this land! He'll give it to us!
Joshua and Caleb were like the weaned child resting on his mother's lap. They trusted the Lord for His provision. They waited on Him for His leading. Their hope was in HIM.
Read the rest of Numbers 14 to find out what the Lord thought about the whiney-babies who were restless with their demands and worries. Notice the contrast between how God dealt with those who rested in Him, and those who were restless and discontented.
How about you?
Are you like a weaned child, resting humbly in Abba's lap, trusting Him with the things that are too marvelous for you?
Or are you a restless, discontented, proud and haughty searcher, chasing after things you don't understand?
God is worthy of our trust.
But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples.