Posts Tagged ‘bribing children’

Maxine's 1st bday 2015 016eOur three-year-old grandson discovered a whole new concept recently. He has come to believe that anyone or anything he doesn’t approve of might well disappear if he ‘magics’ them away! No doubt he saw this happen on some children’s TV show and has decided this might be quite a handy skill to acquire. So when some animals featured on a particular page of one of his favourite books do something naughty, what does he do?

‘I’m going to magic you away!’ he declares to them firmly, with a sweep of his hand.

For some reason, it doesn’t seem to deter him when those animals don’t actually disappear. He just keeps on trying. And not only on characters in books either.

One evening when we were minding him, he decided he wasn’t ready to go to sleep, despite the lateness of the hour. We had already read books and enjoyed a special treat—a big, juicy strawberry from the fridge. But one was definitely not enough—he wanted more.

‘Perhaps when Mummy comes home, you can ask her for some more,’ I stalled, hoping he would fall asleep long before then.

But our determined little grandson was not happy with my response.

‘I’m going to magic you away!’ he informed me, with a stern look and a very definite, commanding gesture.

But he still wasn’t finished.

And I’m going to magic Mummy right here!’ he announced with a flourish.

About two seconds later, we heard a sound at the front door—and there was Mummy, home from work! I laughed, knowing it was sheer coincidence. But our grandson’s face registered all sorts of emotions—shock, joy, pride, satisfaction … and yes, anticipation of more yummy strawberries to come. In fact, without even greeting his mother, he headed straight for that fridge to help himself!

This interesting experience later caused me to think about how I view God at times. How often have I prayed some frantic prayer, in the hope God will immediately step in and ‘magic’ away some disaster or difficult situation? How often have I felt I had the right to expect God to do this, even if I was responsible for bringing about the disaster or difficult situation? How often have I treated God as some sort of all-powerful magician, always ready to save the day and do exactly as I want?

Yes, God has often rescued me out of difficult situations. But God has also chosen to walk with me through them instead—and these have been the times I have grown the most. Then I learnt to rely on God more, became stronger, gained some wisdom and was equipped to empathise with others. I often did not appreciate it, but God was there through it all, holding me, helping me, comforting me, teaching me, as 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ … who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

No, God is not a big magician who is obliged to do what we say, making people we don’t like disappear or zapping us out of some tricky situation. God is soooo much more than that—don’t you agree?

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