God speaks to us in times that we least expect it. It is amazing what how much growth and wisdom can be gained from striving to keep your heart open to what the Holy Spirit is saying.
My wife and I have noticed in recent weeks that our children seem to be taking the things that we do for them for granted. It almost made us feel like they were taking advantage of our love for them. We spend so much time and effort making sure they get to do the things, such as extra-curricular activities, that they want to do. We spend so much time making sure we are available to help them with their homework and to get their projects completed on time. We don’t do these things for them but we are always putting off things that need to be done around the house or postponing something that we want to do so that we can see the smile on their faces as they do what they enjoy. Or the excitement on their face when we help them with their projects or homework.
So, we sat them down last night and had a long discussion with them. We laid it all out for them. We tried to put it in to perspective for them. We broke down how we split the TWO of us amongst FIVE of them. As we were explaining that for our family to function at its best we needed their help with the things that needed to be done. Things like house work or yard work. I personally talked to them about using each moment as efficiently as possible. We may occasionally ask for them to contribute an hour of their time to helping us and it is important that for that hour there is little time wasted because we have so very little of that precious commodity of time. We even told them that if they can’t start working on being more focused during that time that we may have to cut back on some of the activities they are doing. That is where it got interesting.
One of our twin daughters, 9 years old, spoke up at that point. We always tell them that if they start something they will finish it. So, they will fulfill their commitment and then if they choose not to do it the next time around then they don’t have to. She tried to use that against us.
She said with a slight bit of sass, “You can take us out of our activities after we have finished our commitments.”
I couldn’t help but smile inside because it was a very valid point. But it also brought out an authoritative tone in my voice. I looked right at her and, with my fatherly authority voice, said, “You all need to remember something. We can start or stop you whenever we choose to. You don’t get to do the things you want to do just because you choose to. You get to do the things you want to do because WE want and allow you to. So, don’t think for a second that we can’t take you out of a commitment right now. We are in control.”
I kid you not, in that very instant God spoke to me. HE reminded me that HE is in control. I am not getting to do the things in life that I want to do because of anything I have done. I am not doing them because I want to. I get to do those things because HE wants me to! HE has the authority to stop or start anything that I have going on, regardless of my commitment, to fulfill is HIS will. If HE wants me to change the course of my life entirely then I need to remember that HE will tell me the same thing I told my daughter and HE will do it with more authority than I can ever express to my children.
Because of that moment I didn’t have much else to add to the conversation with our children. I could not get what HE had said to me off my mind. When the conversation was over all I could do was thank and praise HIM for his incredible grace and sovereignty. It is just so amazing that I have been praying for more understanding of HIS ultimate authority in my life. I was wrestling with the fact that I feel like I am choosing to do what I want to do in life. That I must make the choice to stay on the path of righteousness. But in that instant I realized that it is not me at all! It is HIM! It is HIS will that is being done. I am only doing the things I am doing because HE wants me to. No matter what is happening in my life. If it is something great, HE is working to bless me with that greatness. If it is something causing hurt, HE is working to bless me with healing and wisdom.
I can’t begin to tell you the excitement I have today! All because HIS will is being done constantly. Because our God has the ultimate authority, wisdom, grace, love and mercy to always allow us what it is we need. I had to dive in to scripture to just read up on HIS awesome will and I will leave you with one of the scriptures that really spoke to me.
35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”