Proverbs reads in Chapter 19, Verse 21, "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. (KJV) God knows what we need and when we need it. We try to take control of our situations and hover over them, especially our children. When in reality, what we need to do is let go and let God.
I want to share a funny story with you that happened to me about two years ago. I starting feeling the urge to work in ministry and at the time I had been working closely with FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) but it was through a partnership with the bank I was at. I expressed a desire to FCA's leader, Ken Burnett, to go to work for FCA full-time. We had been exchanging phone calls and on this one particular day that we were on a call I had all three of my children with me. Two of my children, Owen and Emma, needed something from a store nearby so I pulled into the parking lot to let them go in and get what they needed and told them I would wait in the car with my then 3 year-old, Kanin, all while I was on the phone with Ken.
While waiting, Kanin begins asking me to go to the bathroom. I'm half listening to Ken as I begin to think of what to do with Kanin. To me this was an important call because Ken was potentially my next boss so I didn't want to hang up with him plus keep in mind I'm a mom and in control of everything, right? Are you with me? So, I get Kanin out of the car to take him over to the grass to "let him go". Then, he tells me he has to "go #2" so of course this plan had to change. I head toward the store and Owen and Emma are coming out. I hand them the keys and tell them to get in, lock the door, and I'll be right back.
I proceed into the store, still on the phone with Ken but with Kanin by the hand saying "Mom, I've got to go bad". I place Ken on mute (so I thought) and get the key from the register to take Kanin to the bathroom. As we walk toward the bathroom, I didn't notice that Kanin had grabbed a bag of animal crackers. I unlock the door to the bathroom, pull Kanin in and see the bag of cookies in his hand and say "Son, you can't have food in the bathroom". It was then discover Ken is not on mute after all. Ken says, "are you eating in the bathroom". Totally embarrassed, I respond. "No, just taking Kanin to the bathroom in a store and he grabbed a bag of cookies on the way in." To which Ken replies with a song, "Come out, come out Mr. Doodie" and he is laughing hysterically.
So, I'm helping Kanin get on the toilet while Ken is singing in my ear about going to the bathroom. Yes, this did really happen. And, I hope you can visualize this because there is a point.
We as mothers try to do EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY sometimes all at once and we miss God speaking to us. I can't even remember what Ken and I were talking about up until hearing the song. Wow, what a loser I am. Why didn't I just ask Ken if I could call him back? Because I thought I had it all under control!
Let's apply this spiritually. We can't do everything. We can't! When God needs us to listen we need to take time to listen. We are going to miss our calling if we don't. Yes, some things have to be taken care of right away like Kanin needing to go to the bathroom. But if we don't carve out time for Him, we are going to miss the message.
God showed me this lesson through looking back at what a mess I was making in this moment. I was distracted and wasn't taking the time to listen and I could not admit that I did not have control of this situation. Listen to me now, put God at the top of your To Do list. Not to check Him off but instead to let Him trickle down and cover the rest of it with His great blessings.
May God richly bless you is my humble prayer today.
I haven’t done a specific book review in a couple of weeks although I have mentioned books in my posts. But this book has been weighing on my heart to share with you so I hope it helps someone. Do Hard Things written by Alex & Brett Harris is a book about rising above teenage rebellion. Yes, it is written by teenagers for teenagers but it is an excellent book for adults to read too and here’s why.
Now are you with me? You see where this is going?
Yes, this is a great book for teenagers who are trying to challenge themselves but Do Hard Things is a great motivator for adults, too. It also provides some great online resources and shares real life stories. We read this book in our Adult Sunday School class.
Did you know that the word “teenager” has been around for less than 70 years? Used to, you were either a child or an adult. The Bible never mentions the word either. The world has created this word for this awkward stage in life where used to children were becoming adults. This process now doesn't typically take place until they are out of college.
Check this excerpt out from the book. “George was born in northern Virginia in 1732 to a middle-class family. When he was eleven years old, he lost his father. Even though his peers never considered him very bright, he applied himself to his studies and mastered geometry, trigonometry, and surveying by the time he was sixteen. At seventeen years old, George had the chance to put his studies to use at his first job. Official surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia…George endured the hardships of frontier life as he measured and recorded previously unmapped territories. His measuring tools were heavy logs and chains. George was a man at seventeen.” This George the authors refer to is George Washington, who as you know, goes on to be our first President of the United States of America.
At an early age, George was given increasing levels of responsibility and he rose to the occasion. And at that time in history, it wasn’t unusual to see this age group accept the challenges of this world. Nowadays, we are lucky to get our teenagers to make their bed, clean their room, or take out the trash.
Furthermore, we have the irresponsible adults we have today because of the low standards and expectations that were set for them as children. And so a cycle has been put into place the same as abuse, addiction or any other cycle. It is learned behavior.
I challenge you to get this book and read it as an adult and raise the standard for your children, grandchildren, students, or whomever God has placed in your path.
Let me close with a verse from 1 Corinthians 14:20, “Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.” Our culture today encourages just the opposite. It says be childish in your thinking and behavior and yet makes available adult sins to our children.
Think about it. Choose to do hard things.
Rebecca Debter is the Ministries Coordinator at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.
Women's Bible Study beginning November 5, 2017, Sunday Mornings at 9:30am at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. "We Saved You a Seat" what are you waiting for.