You Can’t Tell Me What to Do!

Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.

Psalm 119:18 (NLT)

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone wiser than you, someone you can trust, gave you some advice that you chose to ignore? Then, as a result you ended up getting hurt, lost, stabbed, or basically embarrassed? Yeah, it happens.

Nathan was around three years old. He was in that “testing” phase – as in he needed to test everything that his mom and I asked him to do. He had quite the amazing collection of toys. One such toy was a cash register. It had working buttons that beeped, a bell that rang when the cash drawer opened up, and it even had cash! OK, it was fake cash, play money. Nathan really liked the plastic coins, especially the great big 50-cent coin. The problem was, he wouldn’t just roll them around on the floor, or use them in the register. Instead, he would often plunk that 50-cent coin into his mouth. When I would catch him doing it, I’d tell him that he wasn’t allowed to put those things in his mouth because if they moved too far back into his throat, he would choke. Of course, he’d listen and do as he was told – for about two minutes.

One day, I saw him take the 50-cent coin and put it in his mouth, and before the words could even come out of my mouth, his eyes got really big. He looked at me with panic. “Is the coin in your throat?!” I blurted out. He nodded as he started to sob. The panic was starting to overtake us both. “OK, let’s get in the car and head to the emergency room!” We only lived about one mile from the hospital. Just the words “emergency room” caused Nathan to panic even more. But, in his panic, his throat opened up wide enough that he swallowed that coin. It was never heard from again. I can laugh about this now.

The unfortunate reality is that we treat God’s instructions in the same way. We want to do what we want to do. How could God possibly know better than us? We know what makes us happy, or is supposed to make us happy. He’s just a dusty, old man who wouldn’t understand. Except, He isn’t dusty; He’s perfect. That means His judgment is perfect. His wisdom is perfect. His instructions to us are perfect. His love for us is perfect. And, His instructions are love.

Today, and every day, may this be our prayer: “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.”

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