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<< A Wisdom Retreat with Stephen Davey

A Wisdom Retreat - November 22

  • 2019 Nov 22

Father Knows Best

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Have you ever volunteered to work in a nursery or preschool and noticed that toddlers never thank teachers for taking something away from them? When was the last time you heard a child  say, "Hey,  thanks, Teacher . . .  it was about time I shared that Tonka Truck with somebody else."  Or, "Thanks a lot for taking those Cheerios away from me . . . seems like I haven't been able to go anywhere without 'em lately!" 

Hardly—it's the other way around, isn't it? Most times kids have a fit because they want more of something, not less.

I remember going to the grocery store one day to grab some fruit and vitamin-enhanced bottled water.  Okay—I picked up a bag of chips and some donuts as well . . . my doctor said I needed a balanced diet! 

While I was busy scouring the aisles, I noticed a mother who seemed rather worn.  I quickly realized why. Her daughter [who looked to be about two years old] was standing up in the back of the grocery cart crying at the top of her lungs. This little red-haired girl was having a meltdown right there on Aisle 6.

What a sight!  All blotchy-faced with tears streaming down her cheeks, she was standing on her tiptoes, her knuckles white as she held onto the side of the cart. 

She was mad! In fact, if she had been bigger we would have all been in danger! 

Despite the exhausting tantrum, I still remember her mother calmly saying over and over again, "No, you can't have that . . . no, you can't have that either . . . no . . . no . . . no."

The little girl was too young to realize that her mother was actually protecting her. Pesticides, pills, and bottles of cleaning fluid aren't good packages to put in your mouth.  But tell that to a two-year-old.

As I thought back on that experience and the pity that I felt for the young, patient mother, I began to realize how often we as Christians are like that little girl.

We might not always throw a fit—at least not externally—but how often do we reach for a relationship or a job or a dream and get frustrated with God when He says, "No . . . no . . . no." 

The truth is we're a lot more like that two-year-old on Aisle 6 than we'd like to admit. She saw things she wanted but didn't realize they were things she didn't need. All she knew was that big bottle of Windex looked like Kool-Aid but her mom wasn't letting her have a drink. And she was thirsty, for goodness' sake!

I wonder how many times our Father in heaven patiently listens to us fuss and fume, knowing we'll never come back to thank Him for saving us from something harmful. 

How often do we go back to our Savior later in life and say, "Lord, thanks so much for protecting me from those things I wanted but certainly didn't need."  Or "I was thirsty and thought that stuff would quench my thirst, but You knew better . . . so, thank You."

Are you having an internal tug-of-war with God right now over some object of your affection? Has He kept something just out of reach that you're convinced would be good for you?  Has He refused to give you something you want—something, or someone, you'd rather not be without? 

No matter what you might be going through, take time today to thank God for always being a loving Father—the Parent who has promised to provide for you what is good and best, even when it doesn't feel like it. 

He loves you . . . and truly is the Father who knows best!

Prayer Point: Instead of fussing and fuming with the Lord today over some unrealized desire, quiet your heart in confidence as you thank Him for being the Perfect Parent—for withholding harmful and destructive things while offering good and perfect gifts that He knows will satisfy and sustain you.

Extra Refreshment: James 1.

The Advent Event

December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.

One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.

Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

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