Huddy is two. A very typical two year old, he gets into everything and he is a sponge soaking up every word and action of the adults around him. He is a bundle of laughs most of the time, but as a healthy and inquisitive boy, he gets himself into trouble too. Our little man loves to explore the boundaries, something that he is supposed to do. He tests the strength of the shelves on the book case as much as he tests my patience by drawing on the furniture with a wax crayon. Both things are healthy and if he did not do these things, we would be worried. Two years olds are suppose to be adventurous and they are suppose to say “mine” and “no” a lot. He is learning autonomy and how to use free will. Often he will say no to something he really want to say yes to, just because that is what two year olds do.
Often times the consequence of his actions brings him pain. Bumps and scrapes and especially stubbed toes are the norm right about now, as it is with most toddlers. It is as it is supposed to be. The sometimes painful consequence of his actions is not punishment, but opportunity for growth and learning. The hardest part of being ouma (Afrikaans word for grandmother) is to allow him the luxury of learning by experience. I want to protect him from harm as best I can.
Something that he does that causes my heart to skip a beat more often than not, is his tendency to run off when we are outside. He considers it great fun having me run after him, yelling “stop!”. Instead of stopping, he goes as fast as his little legs can carry him, oblivious to danger. Our job is to keep him safe until such a time as he is mature enough to recognise danger for himself, without breaking his adventurous spirit in the process.
Because I understand the psyche of a two year old, I have come up with another strategy that I am going to put into practice when we are out and about. Instead of yelling for him to stop, we are turning it into a game. Ouma yells “freeze” and no-one is allowed to move until I say so. It probably won’t work every time, but I am upping the ante with a few little prizes. You freeze every time, you get to pick from a small selection of toys. It’s going to be a work in progress.
It reminds me of the Father. How often do we read the Word and see a scripture that seems just too restrictive? How often do we hear Holy Spirit say “freeze” but we ignore the command and pay the price? Often time we want to be delivered from the enemy, when the enemy has nothing to do with it. Our pain is caused by the consequence of our actions. We engage our free will, which is good and right. It’s a God-given blessing to have a choice, but until we are mature enough to make healthy and safe choices for ourselves, we need the boundaries that the Lord sets for us. The more we mature to walk in obedience, the less restrictive those boundaries will seem. Instead we begin to realise that every “no”, “ not now” or “ take care” from the Father is an act of immense love. He wants to protect us from dangers that He can see, even when we resent what we see as an infringement upon our free will. His intention is not to break our spirit, but to lead us into a deeper walk, into maturity and into a place where we walk in wisdom, lead by Holy Spirit, by choice.
Sadly though, often times as the children of God, we react like two year olds. We say no when we know we should be saying yes, and vice versa, or we see something in the distance and we run after it headlong when Abba wants us to wait for Him. Skinned knees and stubbed toes often result, as does egg on our faces. We resent the Lord’s discipline and we regard the consequence of our action as punishment, rather than thank Him for the opportunity to learn and to grow in grace.
I once heard it said that a smart person learns from his own mistakes, but a wise person learns from other people’s mistakes. Yet we tend to think that we will be the exception to the rule…we will get away with the thing that caused so many others to fall. In this season, as in every other season, we need to grow up and earnestly seek after wisdom. We are walking a road we have not traveled before. We need to heed the voice of the Lord, saying “freeze” or “this is the way, walk in it” (Is. 30:21). When Holy Spirit says freeze, it’s to keep us safe, but also to give us an opportunity to comply. We get to choose to do the right thing, we get to choose obedience rather than defying Him and with making the right choice, we get a reward.
The other day, Oupa (you guessed it, Afrikaans for grandpa) asked Huddy what his name was. His answer? Good boy! Because that’s what he hears every time he chooses obedience. That’s what we are striving for, isn’t it. To hear Abba Father say “You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you were faithful to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, “Come celebrate with me!” (Matt. 25:23 TPT), just as the wealthy man said to his faithful servant in the parable.
Our obedience is an act of worship. It is ascribing the highest honour to One Who is worthy to receive it. So whether Abba is asking you to do something or whether He is asking you to stop and wait, heed Him. There is a great reward waiting for those that overcome…especially when we overcome our natural inclination for rebellion.
It is said of Jesus, in the book of Hebrews…”But even though He was a wonderful Son, He learned to listen and obey through all His sufferings. And after being proven perfect in this way He has now become the source of eternal salvation to all those who listen to Him and obey.” (Heb. 5: 8,9)
Jesus goes on to say:
“What good does it do for you to say I am your Lord and Master if what I teach you is not put into practice? Let me describe the one who truly follows me and does what I say. He is like a man who chooses the right place to build a house and then lays a deep and secure foundation. When the storms and floods rage against that house, it continues to stand strong and unshaken through the tempest, for it has been wisely built on the right foundation. Luke 6:46-48 (TPT)
Let’s encourage one another in this season of uncertainty, where storms rage in us and around us, to choose obedience above all. Let Jesus be Lord and Master, as well as Saviour and Friend. Selah.