The Holy Spirit often speaks to me through my son. This morning I heard His voice again. Every morning while I shower and get ready for the day, Benjamin watches a movie in his Super Stand. Most mornings I pop in one of his two Sesame Street DVDs. Yesterday, while running an errand I happened upon a brand new baby DVD. It appeared to be the same genre as some of Benjamin’s other movies, with lots of music, puppets, and images of infants and children playing. I thought it would be very nice to have another option for his viewing enjoyment (and for Mommy’s sanity!), so I made the purchase. Shortly after we arrived at home, I set Benjamin up in his stander and popped in his new movie, while I got busy preparing supper. Now, my son is very much a creature of habit. He most often bucks against any new thing at the start. However, with persistence, he will eventually embrace the change and keep moving forward. (Do you hear the lesson yet?) So, I expected some protest to the new movie, and it surely happened. He did the same thing with his now beloved Sesame Street shows, among others. The fine line for me is being able to recognize how much he can handle at once, and I am still very much in the process of learning! So, after 10 minutes of hearing his cries of protest, I stopped the movie and popped in one of his favorites instead. After that, he was as happy as a clam. I told him, “We’ll try it again tomorrow.” Well, back to this morning—we gave his new movie another chance while I got ready for the day. I could hear his disgruntled cries even in the shower. By the time I was dressed, Holy Spirit was already speaking to me as my son was escalating in his discontent. We made it through over 20 minutes this morning, and I am confident that in time this new DVD will encourage smiles instead of cries.
As I listened to my child, I felt like the Lord was whispering to me about how often His children (myself included) do the same thing when He ushers change into our lives. It’s so easy to remain in our comfort zones with what’s familiar. However, we will never move forward with God if we stay in that place. Sometimes the changes are circumstantial and out of our control. We can gripe and complain and fall into self-pity, or we can fix our eyes on Jesus, place our trust in Him, and keep moving forward. Sometimes the changes are optional—a new attitude of heart, a willingness to embrace a new mindset, or a willingness to go in the direction we feel He’s asking us to go, even when it means giving up our own agendas. Change is often hard, and it’s often uncomfortable, but He always has our best interest at heart. However, if we buck and protest, He will allow us to stay where we are for a season. He will not cross our free will. He will be persistent, though, and bring us back to the place of choice again and again, not content to leave us where we are. His leadership over our lives is perfect, but we have to be willing to relinquish control. If I’m not confident in His heart of love towards me, this is a very scary thing. The more I experience His love and His affections towards me, the easier it becomes to trust and allow Him to lead. In fact, refusing to allow Him to have His way becomes a scarier prospect than losing my control! Only He sees from eternity past to eternity future, and only He loves with perfection.
There was another lesson to be learned through my son this morning. His cries of anger and frustration effectively pushed out quite a mess! I smelled it as soon as I started to lower him down in his stander. Now, this may be more information than you care to know, but when I say mess I mean MESS! We are talking about the kind of blow-out that necessitated an immediate bath, load of laundry and sanitation of his changing pad. It’s a wonder I made it through the incident without needing a fresh change of clothes myself! Again I heard the Holy Spirit’s gentle voice. I love you and enjoy you even when you’re making messes. Oh, He’s good! Often the process of change brings the messes up and out. Things I didn’t even realize were in my heart begin to surface, and it stinks! It’s so easy at this point to slip into feelings of shame and condemnation, but Jesus already bore all my shame on the cross. He is not intimidated by my messes, and I believe He thoroughly enjoys the process of cleaning me up because He knows exactly where He’s taking me, and He sees me through His blood that has already washed me clean and pure. There is a processing of “working out my salvation” (Philippians 2:12-13), but He sees ahead into eternity future when I will be fully conformed to His image, and He enjoys me in the here and now.
I suppose this is where my analogy breaks down a bit. I cannot say that there was any enjoyment for me in cleaning up my son’s stinky mess. I didn’t enjoy the process, but I most definitely enjoy the child!