Scare Tactics

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?

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About Tanya Glanzman

Tanya is thankful to write and speak as her Father’s Daughter. As a vessel restored, she brings hope and encouragement wrapped in grace-​​​​filled truth into the hearts of women, helping each to know what it means to be a daughter of the […]

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Comments

  1. A thougthful post. It is humbling to think of God's long-​​suffering for us as we have our selfish tantrums protesting the changes necessary to move us along to better places. So thankful that God teaches us of His constant presence and of contentment in HIM, in ALL THINGS. Hoping I remember this the next time — God tells me it's time to move on.

  2. What a great reminder that God doesn't set any conditions on His love and that no matter how hard we try, we cannot go outside of His grasp! =)

  3. Well stated, Tanya. He loves us in-​​spite of our self.

  4. Holly Bourland says:

    So well put. God's faithfulness in the midst of my UNfaithfulness always amazes and humbles me!

  5. Beth Beechy says:

    "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" — beautifully stated.

  6. I'm so thankful that He is with me always, even when I make wrong turns and go my own way. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Dayna Schrock says:

    Oh my…took me back to days of frustration facing off with my own children and changes my perspective of how God must feel when I "face off" with Him.…praise the Lord He does not forsake us, even in our weaknesses! Thanks for a wonderful reminder!

  8. Wow, it would be scary if God's presence were tied to my obedience! So thankful that it isn't! Thanks for the great reminder.

  9. Marty Girardier says:

    So true Tanya. Thanks for your insight of how God graciously waits for each of us to obey and never threatens to leave us.

  10. Thank you Jesus for your patients with me. I am sooo the little girl headed up the slide again.

  11. Steven N Megan Simmons says:

    Your words speak to people who quite often don't understand the words God trys to instill in the Bible… this story paints a clear picture as to how wonderful God truly is! This can relate to all moms and most dads;) bravo!

  12. Jessica Watson says:

    This actually reminds me of Steve. Often times I do nt understand the love and patience he has for his children and my children. I wanted to be like the mom and run out the "McDonalds door" and he doesn't let things bother him and is patient in love, just waiting and praying for them through it.
    God is so good and patient, and he is so kind to us. He loves us more than we could ever fathom.

  13. This is great, Tanya! Yes! I do have a difficult time KNOWING that God loves me when I've strayed. Isn't it great to know that He's watching, waiting for us to come back so He can run to us and welcome us home?

  14. Oh so true Tanya. I can see myself as the child pushing the envelope, as well as the frustrated mom. God is so loving and gracious to put up with our tantrums…always loving and never turning his back or giving up. What a great picture of relationship.

  15. I too at one or thirteen times or another have shared quite a resemblance to the little girl in your story. SO grateful for God's long-​​suffering and patience to me. Thank you for the reminder that God would never abandon me, even on my worst days. Sweet comfort for this girl.

  16. Can so relate to the mother! Yikes. But how many times have I been that child? Countless. Yet there God is, waiting patiently.

  17. As I read this, I remembered a "faceoff" with one of my children and was thinking "You go mom. Just pretend to leave the kid and see what they think then". BUT then I thought of myself as the bratty kid, oh my. Forgive me, Daddy God. And thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me. Thank you for your unconditional love for me. Thank you, Tanya, for this reminder.

  18. I love this, Tanya; especially since I'll be forced to spend more time at McDonald's again in a couple of years as a brand new grandma! LOL! You paint a beautiful picture of God's everlasting love. God's love and patience aren't bound by the constraints of time and space. If it were left up to us we would choose to stay in the "ball room" and play, play, play. But how limiting! God sees what is outside that ball room and knows there are bigger, even more colorful rooms waiting for us. But He does let us wallow around in our current ball room until we get a glimpse of what is possible. Glorious freedom! And we can only get there through obedience. Thank you for showcasing God's word is such a way that we can actually live it out.

  19. Very timely for me Tanya…not only does HE not abandon us, he continues to bless us in abundance with the opportunities/​things/​wisdom we need in trying times. Amazing!

  20. Amanda Frazier says:

    So true! Isn't it funny how we think we're long-​​suffering until we look at ourselves in light of God's patience.

  21. Angel George says:

    What an amazing picture of patience, compassion, perfect parenting, a just God and a supreme God. He loves us enough to show us our strongholds and to prune those weeds back that have started to strangle the truth from our lives. He loves us enough to not let those weeds keep strangling us but to prune the branches back to the point that we are back to the vine where we can start to grow right again and the fruit is sweeter and more abundant. There is nothing we can do on our own but God goes before us, walks with us, holds us in His righteous right hand and disciplines us because He delights in us. " My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." Proverbs 3:11 – 12 He shows compassion by not leaving us to our own flesh. I am reminded of the scripture Psalm 103:13 – 14 "As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust." Thank you, Tanya for sharing such a beautiful truth.

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