This guest post is from my friend Rachel Salmon – the topic formed from a Facebook status she posted several weeks ago about her toddler refusing to taste a homemade chocolate chip cookie. (!) I loved her spiritual application and immediately messaged her to ask her for an expansion of that funny-yet-wise status. And today we get to read it. Enjoy! ~Kristen
Do you remember the first time you tasted chocolate?
Or the first time you played in the snow?
Or sang along to a favorite song?
I do not remember any of these things. Thanks to my toddler, I am able to see someone else experience for the first time things I often take for granted. I have an excellent view from my platform of life experience to watch her learn things I already know. I often get excited when I offer her a new food, a new toy, or a new experience because I know how great it is and I want to see her joy in experiencing it.
I recently offered my toddler a homemade chocolate chip cookie but she refused it in favor of her trusted snacks from the pantry. While initially I was surprised by her behavior, I should not have been. She was merely acting on what she wanted and what was familiar. Normally, I would be supportive of her request for a pantry snack. In this instance however, I wanted her to trust me to offer her something better than she was requesting.
Her refusal of the cookie made me think about how I sometimes act towards my Heavenly Father. A quick mental analysis revealed that sometimes I am not much different from my toddler. How many times have I run towards the known refuge of my earthly comforts when God would love to show me spiritual blessings beyond what I am able to comprehend? How often do I limit myself to small goals and safe plans when God would have bigger opportunities in mind? Growth in knowledge and trust in God must not end in childhood. The Apostle Paul reminds us what God is capable of in Ephesians 3:17-21 (NKJV):
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Paul tells us that we may ask for something, but God is able to do more than that…exceedingly abundantly above what we had in mind. This may mean that the answer He gives is something that asks us to embrace something unknown and trust Him. For most of us, this can be a scary place.
Before I had a toddler I did not realize places like Bible class, the playground, and the beach can be extremely scary. “Of course,” you say, “that’s silly. Those are great places.”
But how do you know?
When I take my toddler to a place that is unknown to her, she usually tightens her grip on me. She is old enough now to request that we “hole hands” when we go somewhere. We face her unknown together. And I get to watch her joy in discovering songs, a slide, and the surf.
Our loving God knows when we are scared and why. We will not face anything in this life that He cannot safely guide us through. He loves us more than we understand and He can do more than we can imagine. This is how we move forward.
I can hold His hand. He will guide me. We will face my unknown together.
Rachel is the wife of Daniel and mother of Clara. A science nerd since at least the third grade, she enjoys talking about cells, molecules, and biochemical pathways as an associate professor of biology at Freed-Hardeman University. As a native Ohioan and proud graduate of The Ohio State University, she is teaching Clara how to cheer for the Buckeyes. In her free time, she likes to try new recipes, read, and rediscover the joys of Legos and Play-Doh with Clara.
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