Monday, May 16, 2011

"Stickers, please..."

“Stickers, please…”

The cashier at the grocery store I always shop at was more than a little surprised to hear this phrase come out of my 2-year old’s mouth.  She chuckled and said, “You’d like some stickers?”  To which my son grinned and responded, “Okay.”  I didn’t even have to prompt a “thank-you” out of him when the cashier handed him a strip of four of the bright orange paid-for stickers. 

While Jadon sat there carefully placing each sticker on his jacket, the cashier commented that he said the word “stickers” really well.  I responded with, “Yes, it’s amazing how quickly toddlers learn to say the things that are important to them."  Ironically, less than an hour later, a friend (and fellow mom of a toddler) was sharing some of her frustrations on this very topic.  It can be very maddening when you try hundreds of times to get your 2 year old to simply say “please” when he wants something, and yet he can say “cookies” the entire length of the snack aisle in the grocery store.  Or how about when your toddler says “doggie” but not “mumma”… and you don’t even have a dog?! 

I have been blessed with a little boy who is a talker, so my husband and I have had very few frustrations like these (although the doggie one is true).  But, as I thought about these two conversations I had this week I couldn’t help but think about how I do the very same thing to my Heavenly Father.  So often I fill my life up with “good” things and ignore the one big thing God has been trying to teach me.  I often busy myself with serving my family and church (both God-honoring tasks) to the point where I am no longer communicating with the “One” that I am seeking to serve first and foremost in my life.  So then I have to ask, “Why am I doing these things if not to communicate my love for God?” and “Is God being honored in my life when I attempt to serve Him alone?”

This is what the LORD says—
   your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the LORD your God,
   who teaches you what is best for you,
   who directs you in the way you should go.
If only you had paid attention to my commands,
   your peace would have been like a river,
   your well-being like the waves of the sea."
Isaiah 48:17-18

It doesn’t get any plainer than that.  If I truly love God, then I will expectantly wait for him to teach me how to be more like Christ. 

            I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
           I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
                                                                                                Psalm 32:8

This verse is so affirming, and yet what good is it if I don’t live in response to it.  Each day, my prayer needs to be, “God, help me to learn what it is you’re trying to teach me today.  I don’t want to be like a 2-year old and learn only what I want to learn - that which is only beneficial to me.  I want Christ to be seen in my words, actions, and attitudes.  Speak, O Lord, and help me listen with all humility and reverence."

Speak, O Lord

"Speak, O Lord"   
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow'r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we'll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we'll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.

~ Carrie ~

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