Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
The smell of French fries lingered while squeals and laughter filled the air. We were quarantined behind the glass doors that separated those who dine from the colorful ball-filled pits and twisty slides. We exchanged the usual “don’t talk to strangers” for “play nice with your new friends . . .”
All was lovely until one mom decided it was “time to go.”
A novice she was not. Having previously withheld the coveted plastic-wrapped toy, she now offered it as a bribe to leave. The daughter, no novice herself, had already caught wind, and as soon as her dirty-bottomed feet hit the floor, she scurried back up the impossibly steep climbing tube never intended for anyone over the age of 25 or taller than three and a half feet. With bravado and spunk, the four-year-old faced off with her mother through the thick plastic of the highest tube bubble and giggled.
Desperation spread across the mother’s face. The child was in control of when they were going to leave; she knew it, the child knew it, and every mommy in there knew it. All tact discarded, the frustrated mom began to lose composure.
First, counting in the ominous tone, one . . . two . . . three . . . She could have counted to one hundred; the girl was indifferent. Then, “If you don’t come right now, I am going to throw away your toy.” For a second this caught a fearful glimpse, but the daughter quickly decided the power in her possession was more enticing than a pint-sized plastic pony. Finally, the mother, infuriated and powerless, reached her limit and said, in a tone indicating that her daughter had already won, “okay, FINE, I’m leaving.” She walked aloofly out the door and pinned herself against the wall on the other side, out of the sight of her daughter.
After a minute or two, the four-year-old looked a great deal smaller as the question “was mommy serious?” turned to the recognizable fear that “mommy was serious.” Frantically scuttling out of the tubes and down the slide, she was crying hysterically as she ran out of the play land screaming “Mommy! Mommy!”
There have been many times when I have resembled that stubborn child, remaining in a standoff of obedience with the Lord. In these times I am so very thankful that He never threatens me with abandonment. Instead He is long-suffering and waits patiently for me to choose obedience . . . as long as it takes. Even when my own disobedience causes me pain, He comforts me and loves me through it. Romans 2:4 states “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” I am thankful that my Abba will never leave or forsake me. No matter what.
For Your Reflection:
Is it difficult for you to fathom God’s unfailing love for you even in times of disobedience?