by Sharon Tedford @61things
There was no way he was going to leave. She had brought him to the best playground in town. It had a sandpit and a slide with a tunnel. I mean, what more could a 3 year-old want? But it was time to go. His mum had tried all the usual tricks to prepare him to be ready to leave. There was the “5 minute warning”, and the “time’s nearly up”, as well as the, “say goodbye to your new friends. We will see them next time.” But he was having none of it.
An hour ago he was so happy when she said they’d head to the park for a while. But imagine his greater joy when they pulled up to this park, instead of their normal destination. This park gets top marks from all the kids in daycare! So why on earth did they have to leave already?
His mum was so embarrassed by his behavior. If you’ve ever looked after a vivaciously vigorous toddler, you will know the pain of this poor mum. Her sweet and lovable toddler turned on the “disagreeable” and made enough noise for the whole town to hear.
He seemed to have a switch where he could magnify the gravitational pull below him, and he became 40 pounds heavier when she tried to scoop him up. The soft, supple body, which had moments before been maneuvering its way through tiny tunnels and tight holes, became inflexible as he turned himself into a solid mass of straight-as-a-board kid.
And, as a child of God, I have done this too. My life was fun and successful in a certain location, and it seemed ludicrous to move on. I have felt disappointed my Father would take me out of the best place I’d ever been, and all seemingly without good reason. I have made myself stiff-necked and hard-hearted in order to ignore what my Father wanted to do, because I was sure He was mistaken.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4, ESV)
Some recent research led me to find the Hebrew word for “delight” could mean: “to be soft, delicate and pliable”. Put that implication into the verse above and it might read like this:
“Be soft and pliable before the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
If this small, feisty human had been pliable, he would have found out his mum had planned a second surprise for him. They were off to get ice cream, and in order to get ice cream, they had to leave the park! Did you hear me people? ICE CREAM! The only way to get his chubby little fingers on the creamy treat was to leave where he was. He had no idea where they were headed together, but his mum’s plans were pretty incredible!
If he had chosen to have a soft heart, he would have walked into this next part of his day much sooner and with a better attitude.
I have lived in good places filled with wonderful people and great experiences, and God has called me out. I have been this cranky child who complained, and cried, and wailed, only to be surprised once again by His goodness when He brings me to the wonder of the next adventure.
Our God is kind, faithful, and always good (Jeremiah 29:11). Let’s be pliable Jesus followers, choosing to live with soft hearts. Let’s allow Him to give us the desires of our delicate hearts.
Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 NASB
About the author: Sharon Tedford is an experienced British storyteller who uses her gifts as a singer, author, worship leader, and speaker to connect with her listeners, inviting them into a revitalized relationship with God. Her humorous stories always end with an invitation to action. Mother to three teenagers and the wife of an Irishman, Sharon encourages people to live a God-focused life. You can connect with her at www.61-things.com.
Sharon’s book, Stand, is a devotional based on the stories behind her songs. Readers will be drawn into a deeper personal experience with God and learn how to stand on the truth of a Heavenly Father who loves them.
Join the conversation: How do you keep yourself soft and pliable?