2016-02-03 - Tell Him, tell Him everything
Very often, when we tell others to be honest with us, there can be “exception clauses” attached to the idea. I remember asking a guy I was working with, “How are you doing, Frank?” and he proceeded to tell me about his hemorrhoid operation from the prior month, sharing how recovery was progressing. I imagine my eyes widened a bit, as I was thinking to myself “Um, too much information Frank!” while instead actually saying to him “glad you’re feeling better, Frank!”
Children also have a way of being what my mother lived and described to others, as painfully honest. She was cautious with whom and when she did so, but children really aren’t. Our son, Mike, was about seven years old when family went to an amusement park in Pennsylvania. Mike had never been on a roller coaster and wanted to try one they had there, called the Wild Mouse. Now our daughter was on her first roller coaster at age five, and just loved them. Mike had dealt with some ear problems, so between that causing him motion issues and there being too much time in line to think about it, he had decided when we got to the front, he didn’t want to ride it anymore. I told him it would be fine, and probably didn’t last any more than a couple of minutes, so we would soon be off of it. I made a big mistake. He didn’t get sick or anything, but the entire way down the three-minute ride he said things like “I hate this ride”, “I never want to ride it again”, “it’s not ok”, “it’s not fun”, and probably an “I hate you!!” Well, the Wild Mouse was not on my top three things to do, either, the way it whipped all over the place, and had sudden and jerky changes of direction that are not good for the back, neck, and head at all. We had been in line for an hour, and there was no clear path to escape riding it at that point. And while we encourage our kids to express themselves appropriately, I never imagined he would yell it all the way down what then seemed like a twenty-minute ride rather than three minutes. It still makes me giggle a little, and he never has enjoyed rides with a lot of motion, then or since. It’s just not his thing, and that’s OK.
And so it goes with God’s telling us to just talk to him. Yes, he wants us to respect and honor him as well as leaning on his truth to get us through anything that comes our way. But he wants to hear from us all the time. He doesn’t just want to hear what we think he wants us to say to him or some rehearsed repetitious thoughts. Nothing wrong with specific prayers we want to use or ones we’ve read in the word or written ourselves for certain times. There’s really no wrong way to approach him other than with respect and love. After all, he already knows us and what we’re thinking and is waiting for us to trust him with having big enough shoulders to listen and comfort us. Yes, we should pray for others. Yes, we need to think and act outside of our comfort zones. However, if we tell him all the way down or up the hill about how we aren’t happy about something that’s happening or already happened he certainly can handle it. He didn’t tell us we had to like tough times, but did tell us they were coming and that we could count on him to get us through them. We can also take the time to praise him in the little and big things that happen being grateful for the security he promised us in his loving arms. We can tell him everything!! We can share the fun, the joy, the sadness, the anxious moments, the love, the fear, the exhilaration, the annoying times, the silly moments, the pain, the relief and anything else we want. I’m so grateful for my Abba, Father.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (I John 5:14 NIV)
All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted