Watching my daughters play with each other today I was struck with a truth straight from God that I want to share with you.
While we were all playing together (my children are still too young to realize that it is physically possible to play without me in the room), Avy, my two year old, was playing with a toy car. Scarlett, my one year old, walked over to her and touched the car. She didn’t pick it up or even try to take it away. This, of course, brought on a round of two-year-old hysterics that included ear-piercing screams and pushing her sister down. Scarlett started crying and ran immediately to me.
As an only child, I am completely unprepared for how to deal with sibling issues. I have never really witnessed them, especially among children as young as mine and I have to rely on my own intuition and intense prayer to know how to make them interact with each other. After punishing Avy, I made her hug and kiss her sister and tell her that she loved her. She grudgingly hugged and kissed Scarlett and then said, “I love you sister. Don’t touch my car.”
I almost laughed out loud. Definitely one of those quotes that goes into the baby book. But when I thought deeper about it, I realized that God was speaking to me through that situation. Because what Avy was really saying was, “I only love you if you don’t touch my car.” And maybe not even then.
How many times in my life do I tell God that I love Him, but then refuse to give certain parts of my life to Him? Maybe material possessions like my house or my car. Maybe abilities like my writing. Maybe relationships or habits or thoughts. There are all kinds of things that we refuse to let God have.
I love my husband and my children with an unbelievable degree of devotion. There is nothing that I could even fathom that I wouldn’t do for them, nothing I wouldn’t give them. So, why does God get less than that from me? Because I don’t trust Him. Not that I don’t trust Him to do what is best with me and my things, but that I don’t trust Him to do what I would have done with them. He might make me uncomfortable. He might ask something of me that I don’t want to do. If I fully surrender everything in my life to Him, He could take it all from me just to teach me a lesson.
Well, this thinking is flawed, human thinking in a couple of ways. First, because God desires only good for me. He loves me. And even when He puts me through hard times there is a purpose, and it always results in what is best for me. He wants me to be happy and healthy and have things that I enjoy.
Second, I either love God or I don’t. If I don’t give Him everything I have, then I don’t really love Him. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but it is true. And I learned that very important lesson from my two toddlers. “I love you, but…” isn’t “I love you” at all.
What are you holding back from God? It is my prayer that He shows me and you what we are holding back from Him, so that we can surrender it. Doesn’t He deserve at least that from us?