Timeout with Jesus with our children in a world full of distraction and things to do!
All through scripture God shows real life struggles and how we love each other through them! It’s like when Moses grew tired and Arron and Hurr not just noticed Moses struggle and hoped he could make it but came to help encourage and support Him to finish what God called Him to do! We are meant to do life together! Remember we need to we awake, alert, and sober minded in everything we do in life! The distractions are loud and can be used to rob and steal precious time that you can’t get back! Arron and Hurr didn’t take the responsibility from Moses, instead they brought a rock to him so he could rest and they helped hold his hands up! Exodus 17:12-13 NIV, “When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” When we love each other we go where our sisters and brothers are by praying and doing what we can with what we have been given help them do what God called them to do! We always tell them the truth with love and respect using wisdom and discretion given to us from God! Telling the truth can be hard but love lives out truth! Love come from God who is our foundation that we all stand on!Love depends and trust God’s understanding by choosing to listen to those sisters and brothers who God places in your life to help you stay on course! Love is being completely humble as you accept and listen to correction and allow yourself to be disciplined because God disciplines us for good! We need to align our lives to what the Bible says and we point each other back in the right direction! Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres! Love never fails!
Large rocks never really get in the way because they are obvious! However, it’s the little pebbles that you can’t see that get stuck in the rubber part of your shoe! You don’t notice until you hear the clicking sound when you’re back on the sidewalk! If you stop, you might lose too much time, but every step you take, you hear click, click! You try scraping your shoe with each stride but nothing! You decide to ignore the sound and keep going because nothing is going to stop you! You want what you want and nothing is going to get in your way! So, you try to keep moving! Because you have a schedule to keep! But, the click, click sound turned into knock, knock! So, do you hear God’s small still voice? The only way to remove the pebble, is to slow down and stop so you can take it out! We need the abiding relationship with Jesus (John 15:5) to keep us from spiritual blindness, so we can hear His voice! The pebble is just a physical example of what happens spiritually! Now that we are home, the world is trying to sneak through our tv and electronic devices opening us up to a world full of things to do. However, we need to be awake, alert and sober minded (1 Peter 5:8-9), because this multimedia world can become a stumbling block! If we’re not careful, we might do social distancing inside our home with our own family. If we’re not standing firm on Jesus the cornerstone, we will be stuck like sinking sand!
When we read scripture, pray, and discuss what we learn. We will grow as we are lead by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 7:4, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? What will happen if I take my eyes off the road and slow down to examine the pebble in my shoe, or condition of my heart! It is through talking to God and asking Him to search me and know me and to actively listen to the truth! When we listen to what Jesus says by slowing down, so we can actually hear His small still voice God will lead us and show us through relationships what is going on inside our own hearts. We need to be humble to receive by choosing to stop and listen. It might be stopping to hear my child share his heart or listen to my brother! It might be setting aside what You want to do for your spouse or friend in need, we are to be the light in all circumstance! When we are the light, we are the salt too because we are living our love for each other. Jesus says, If you love me, you will follow my commands. We are the salt when we love the way Jesus loves us!
God won’t allow his children to be snatched out of his hands (John 10:28-29). So, the click, knock is an opportunity to trust Him with all of my life and not just a part of it! I will take the time to sit at His feet to listen and trust God with All my circumstances, in every relationship. If we keep listening and abiding in Jesus, he will show us more! If We start to go our own way, God will slow you down in interesting ways, to slow you and show you which path to take! If we’re not humble and are to busy you might miss it! God will keep pursuing us and will keep putting things in our path to keep you on the straight and narrow! God knows each step you will take so He already has everything worked out for your good for those who love him who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
We need scripture and each other to keep on the right course and keep watch (Matthew 24:36-42). It is through talking to God and asking Him, “if I should stop or keep going?” The little things that slow down the progress of your day are like “pebbles” stuck in your shoe! They are not always bad! They can be losing your keys or phone! God can use that to get your attention, to slow you down! To remind you that we need to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! (Matthew 6:33) It could be a sudden snow storm in summer! It can be annoying but meant for our own good! It might even cause you to get off course because you were heading in the wrong direction! The only way to know why something like “pebbles” comes into your day, is to pray and talk to sisters and brothers about what going on in your day! This brings everything into the light for God’s glory!
Learning is like watching a beautiful garden filled with a variety of different plants flourish together during each season! The beauty grows each year as you cultivate, add, move or take away from your garden. Learning starts in the womb as your beautiful baby listens to your heart beat while he/she grows. Before they take their first breath, he is experiencing the world through you with every breath you take! Right after birth your child knows the sound of your heart and voice along with everyone closest to you. Then like a rocket, learning takes off! The love to learn is so beautiful and valuable because it must continue as you become an adult! We must stay open and humble! I enjoy watching my children get excited when they create or learn something new! I know God must enjoys us too! I imagine he loves it when we do things that give him glory because we are created in His image! We are his children and he is our father! The best part is every one of my children learn in a different way! They have their individual garden of learning that is unique to them. One of my older sons created a practice area for him to learn how to pedal fast while in place. I watched my sweet little son practice petaling in the water puddles as he turned to see the water splash behind him. He was in his own world of fun! He was getting really good at riding fast in place! The water splashed behind him was exciting to watch. They put soap in the water to make bubbles for fun.
One day, he decided he wanted his training wheels off! He was more than ready for this adventure because everyone zipped around up and down the driveway much faster than he did! He wanted to go fast too! In his mind, he thought if I just took off those training wheels, I could be as fast as them! It reminded me of what scripture says, drop everything that hinders, the sin that entangles us or holds us back (Hebrews 12:1) For my son, it was the training wheels that held him back. The big adventure has begun and we were excited to remove the training wheels. My older son ran to get the tools. They eagerly watched him remove each bolt and screw! He loves taking things apart! Right when the training wheels were off, guess what happened? He darted like a bullet, but didn’t get very far before he fell over! He lost his balance! He didn’t realize how much the training wheel supported him until they were off! A lot of times we don’t know how much we depend on something until it’s removed! Life can be hard and when we take on new challenges like riding your bike without training wheels, you are being developed for a purpose God has for you later in life. A life of faith doesn’t depend on what you can see or hold on to! (2 Corinthians 5:6-7) Through David’s life, God chose him as a shepherd boy working in the fields for his father while taking care of the sheep! (1 Samuel 16:11-13, and 1 Samuel 17:34:36). If you take care of little, you will take care of much! He did everything he was asked to do with a heart for God. So in what seems small is big for God! He develops our character with the small things in life like helping your little brother or sister learn balance, or being there if they fall to encourage him to get back up! When my son fell, he looked at me in shock because he thought he would just ride like everyone else! I explained about how we need to learn a few things first before you go and ride with your brothers! One of my older sons came alongside him and helped him learn balance. As I watched my sons, it reminded me of how I learned from my dad! It also reminded me of how important it is to keep getting up no matter how many times you fall! Don’t give up and go back to the old ways by putting the training wheels back on! Instead, keep looking forward! It is hard to wait patiently but through struggles you develop Godly character as you grow not only on the outside but inside too! He was determined to keep trying and jumped right up and tried again and again! He had a support system encouraging him to keep going!
Balance was hard at first just like it was for me. However, we had a really rough driveway! It was like a rollercoaster ride! Our driveway is unstable filled with pond size pot holes and dramatic dips leading even our van off course! Life is the same way! Knowing how to ride your bike isn’t the same as actually riding your bike! Only Knowing how to do something and never doing it is like being stuck in “idle” . He was riding in idle when he practiced pedaling in the water! Now he is in motion.He is putting into action everything he had learned because we are meant to run the race not run the race in place! Even when he rode along the road, and slipped in a crater size hole, he got back up. He kept practicing by leaning to the left and the right while he went around the holes!
I was a little older when my dad took off my training wheels! It sounded easy! I saw my friends ride their bikes up and down the street with such grace and confidence. I thought to myself, “I want to do that too!” However, I couldn’t push the pedals! I would always try to push them at the same time, or I would try to pedal backwards because that seemed to always work better! I wouldn’t get far before I would lose my balance and fall! I just sat there motionless! Sometimes in life we think we have to do everything all at once because we see everyone else having fun! You might feel like you’re missing out on something amazing! However, looking back I was given a valuable gift, special time with my dad! He isn’t here anymore, but I can remember the time my dad set aside for me! So, even if I wanted to already know how to ride my bike, like pushing both pedals at the same time, God had set aside something better for me! Just like it’s easier to pedal backwards by staying stuck in your thoughts or living out memories in the past, God wants you to keep moving forward! We need to be patient with each step we take in life because there is so much peace at Jesus’ feet! You can still be at Jesus’ feet on a busy day! We can stay connected all day to Jesus! Everyone has to start at the beginning, like starting a new job or learning something new in a job you have for twenty years! But, when we allow God to balance our life through him, we can struggle with peace and joy! I struggled with balance and without it I didn’t go far on my bike! Just like in life, we won’t go far without Jesus balancing our day! It must be a priority to seek him first and his righteousness!
The important lesson was boring and took the most time, but today I would love to do that again! The best part is, I do get to do this again as I teach my own children! He had me sit on my bike, as he let go without warning! He had me lean to the left or right, so I could experience what it felt like! He taught me to feel the pull of gravity, so I would know what to do! I learned so much more than balance! Life can pull you and weigh you down, will you let the troubles of the world take you with it? Or will you lean on God as he leads you down the right path? Trusting God takes off the weight of the world as you cast your cares on him! You will experience God’s Peace in the most muddy situations in your life! (Proverbs 3:5-6) Through a lesson my dad taught me as a kid, I learned more than how to balance my bike! I didn’t know it yet! Just like God says train your children which way to go and they will not depart from it! My dad’s loving kindness overflowed onto me which carried on for many generations!
I learn to adjust by listening to my father’s voice and follow his instruction! He said to me, if you force it, you will break it! If we go your own way in life, you will break! If you force your ways, you will break relationships and more! If I take off soon, it will be harder for me because I wasn’t ready! My foundation is secure in the waiting! Because in the waiting there are many blessings like a special time with my father! God never forces us to love him or to learn from him! Love is patient and my dad was so very patient with me! He held my bike in place on the soft grass which made me feel safe, and then he let go! We do have to let our children go one day, we only get them for a short time! We need to stay confident that God loves them even more than we do! The plans for them are much better than we could ever imagine! Each time he did this, I grew more confident each time! It was time for my Dad to give me a push so I could pedal on my own! However, I had a struggle with pedaling my bike using one foot at a time!
My next struggle was learning how to pedal! My dad was so very creative, he found a way to teach me! The desire to learn really does matter! I needed to “want” to learn first! My father wanted to help guide me, with my struggle with my right and my left, but I also had to be open to receive instruction. I was more than eager! God works in our weakness and makes us strong. Using two different slippers, my dad taught me how to pedal using my left and my right feet. My left foot was Burt from Sesame Street and my right foot was Ernie! He would push me on the bike saying, Push Burt and Ernie over and over, until I was in full motion! Deuteronomy 32:47, “They are not just idle words for you they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”God said these words are not idle words for you! Knowing God’s word without doing or living it out is like being “idle”! Knowing my left and right was necessary for everything in life! Being “idle” is like sitting on the fence watching your friends ride their bikes, or living in the past! Everyone has a choice, follow Jesus or Not to follow Jesus! There are only two choices because the one in the middle called “idle, maybe, or no means the same thing!! (Joshua 24:14-15) Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands” All of what you know from scripture must be put into your life each day “in action” by first praying, picking up the Bible and fellowship with other believers! Just like getting on the bike, balance, and putting your feet on the pedals then go! We will fall and get hurt but our Heavenly Father is right there! Through Physical life lessons like teaching your children to ride a bike, leads to spiritual lessons that lead to eternity with our Heavenly Father through his son Jesus! When we honor our father and mother! We give glory to God when we teach our children about God and his love for us in scripture, and carry on to each generation (Deuteronomy 11:18-21).
God wants to teach us and guide us and he does this with our family and friends! Yes, you will fall but God will help you and send help through brothers and sisters in Christ. Psalm 121:8, “the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” However if you wait for everything to be perfect, like a perfect time by checking your schedule, perfect roads, house, yard, garden, computer, or van, you will never start! Sitting or watching is being “idle” and you will not go anywhere! You will miss out! It’s like being Lukewarm! Revelation 3:15-16, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm neither hot nor cold I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” You must make a choice! Isaiah 55:6-8, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” You don’t have to be stuck in idle! We all have to start at the beginning and need to learn balance! We need God to show us which path to take! I wanted to get on my bike and go with my friends, and so did my son! God shows himself in a mighty and beautiful way when we trust Him completely and hand over our fears and uncertainty of perfection to him. When we allow Him to do His work in us for his glorious plan, our view of the world changes! Matthew 6:33,”But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Today, step out in faith because Jesus’ arms are open! Revelation 3:19-22,”Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. If we don’t accept his rebuke and discipline it would be like turning our backs on God while closing our eyes and ears!