We have reached the stage with our two year old that is both fun and terrifying. This is the “my do it” stage. He is now, much to our displeasure, showing us his independence in everything. If I even so much as touch that toothbrush it is met with the annoyed “my do it!” He now goes into the refrigerator and pulls things out. He reaches on the counter when I am cutting something to “help” and then takes the knife when I set it down. He reaches for hot items, telling me that they are “very hot.”He tries hard to be involved in every household project I have going on.
Knowing my own tendencies and my other children’s behavior, I have no idea where he ever learned such a thing. Except I was just ranting today to someone about how I cannot stand it when people touch the screen of my computer and smudge it up. I also get irritated with people that get the keyboard dirty or *gasp* eat anywhere near the computer. This is a contaminate free zone and I literally freak out when my children get within a few feet of my laptop. Ok, I guess I have my quirks.
Truth is I like to be in charge and do things my way. In fact, the hardest part of being a disciple of Christ is saying no to myself in order to say yes to His ways. That is inherently challenging for me and I am sure it is a challenge for you as well. How many times have I looked at God and said, “my do it” and then I completely mess it up.
If you can relate you are in good company. Even role models of faith, like Abram, had the same problem. In Genesis 12, Abram had a direct promise from God and yet he struggled in it.
“I wil make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” – Genesis 12: 2-3
You would think that since God had given a direct promise to Abram, he would not be easily distracted by other things. Well, it doesn’t take long for Abram to go into “my do it” mode. We find out that there is a famine in the land, which would have been significant enough for them to go to Egypt for some food. As if that wasn’t already enough of a “my do it” attitude, Abram takes it to a whole different level by lying about his wife. Abram was concerned for his own safety because his wife was beautiful and it was likely that Pharaoh would want her as his wife. But, in order for Pharaoah to take Sarai as his wife, he would have to kill Abram first. So, he tells Pharaoh that she is his sister, which ends up resulting in serious diseases being inflicted on Pharaoh by God. Abram eventually gets found out and gets kicked out of Egypt.
What motivates Abram to take this action when he had heard from God. He had something that we all would love, an audible voice from God.
Abram was experiencing the struggle of life and in the midst of it has lost his bearings. He was just living in the moment and trying all he could to protect himself. Of course, we read it and say, “hey, don’t be so foolish…you will not die if God promised to make you into a great nation. Remember, God keeps his promises.”
If we are honest, we admit we can relate to this. Knowing we can trust God and actually trusting Him are two very different concepts. This is evident in the unexpected circumstances in life. For example, what happens the moment someone loses their job? What is the first reaction when someone gets a diagnosis of cancer? Where do we turn when there are serious relational problems or concerns on the home? Self help books sell for a reason, don’t they. But, even with an abundance of books on the market, things still don’t seem to get settled.
The challenge is not to be foolish about how we live, but rather to trust God. No, things do not always make sense and might not seem fair. Maybe you are experiencing some sort of famine in your life right now. You can still trust God in that. He has not lost control! So, as you start this new year, may you be encouraged to trust God in whatever is before you. May you know His peace, joy, hope and life as you live each day. God always keeps his promises and He has not forgotten you.