Thirty minutes of aggravation, lament, and whining, followed by a giggle. It’s the moment when your child realizes the cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, or lima beans you have been entreating them to at least try is actually good! Their eyes twinkle and they cannot hide a sheepish smile.
It reminds me of the time when my 5-year-old daughter was afraid to ride on the tube pulled behind her grandpa’s boat. We promised we would go slow. It wouldn’t flip, we assured her. We would be there on the tube with her. Eventually, she tried it—only because her 4-year-old cousin wanted to give it a go, and someone younger would not outdo her. In the middle of the ride, she leaned over to me and said, “I made way too big a deal out of this. It is so much fun!”
These moments, when I see my kids increasingly learn to trust us, make for some of the sweetest memories. They are slowly realizing their parents are not out to get them with strange vegetables and scary rides but only want what is good for them.
I wonder if our Heavenly Father also delights when we sheepishly realize the giving of our money grows our faith and multiplies our joy. Perhaps He smiles when He sees you selflessly give of your once treasured “me” time to help another. I know He rejoices when we step over our insecurities and share our faith with a neighbor or co-worker, and how He must delight when He sees our hearts understand His ways do not bring restriction to our lives, but great liberty.
The commands found in Scripture are difficult to follow. Yet forgiving, choosing to think on only good things, and loving our neighbor as ourselves all take courage, discipline, and a faith that says, “God, I believe Your way is best.”
“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts” (Psalm 119:45, NIV).