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Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 30:15, Isaiah 30:17, Isaiah 30, children of Israel, minding grandchildren, temper tantrums, two-year-old tantrums, dealing with childhood tantrums, child care centres, difficulty receiving love’

Jo 23It can be hard at times, don’t you find, to accept a helping hand or a gift from someone else? Of course, it depends on who and what is involved. For example, I have no problem accepting that ten dollars off my grocery shop offered by a certain supermarket! But I can still feel embarrassed when someone gives me an unexpected gift or puts themselves out to help me in some way.

Perhaps that’s why I related so easily to our two-year-old granddaughter, while minding her recently. When we picked her up from child care, she seemed fine. But, once home, our little girl decided to lie on the floor, pull a doona over her face and not move. If her granddad tickled her, she would laugh, but that cover still remained over her face. And any effort to remove it did not impress. I tried patting her, but she would brush my hand away. Talking gently to her didn’t help either. Even Peppa Pig on TV didn’t inspire her to move. Instead she simply craned her neck and watched bits of it upside down!

Now we love our granddaughter. But that day, she refused any of our loving efforts to reach out to her. Instead, she curled up in her own, grumpy little world and refused all offers of help. And, in the end, we let her.

Later, I realised our granddaughter’s actions were disturbingly familiar. No, I haven’t taken to lying on the floor and hiding from everyone (well, not yet anyway!). And I don’t think I have too many grumpy tantrums. But there have been times when I have ignored the loving comfort God has offered and, instead, chosen to wallow in my misery. I believe God loves me—yet I refuse to receive this amazing love in all its fullness.

What a strange response! Yet, sadly, I don’t think I’m alone in this. At times, I have seen others agree God loves them, yet be unable to allow this truth to touch them deep in their spirit. Perhaps it seems too good to be true to them. Or perhaps they are convinced God could never love them—that they don’t deserve God’s grace and forgiveness. Sometimes this response is the result of deep hurt experienced in the past and the resulting lack of trust this brings. At other times, it’s a conscious choice we are all capable of making, merely to ignore God and go it alone. It’s a bit like how the children of Israel acted in Isaiah’s time, when God was reaching out to them. In Isaiah 30:15, we read:

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

Instead, they chose to trust in their own strength and flee—so the Lord left them to their own devices, while still longing to have them turn and listen and obey:

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (17)

I hope our little girl soon gets over her desire to curl up and refuse those loving words and actions. And I hope you and I do too.

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