A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take my youngest two children to the park without older siblings. After my 2-year-old ran all over the playground equipment, she settled into the swings.
She asked me to push her high. So, I obliged. Then she told me, “I do it by my own-self.”
So, I walked away and sat on a swing next to her.
She smiled ear to ear as she went back and forth on the swing.
But then the swing started slowing down.
“Mom, will you push me high?” she asked.
I got up from my swing, stood behind her, and gave her a push. Then I went to push her again, but she told me, “No, mom. I do it by my own-self.”
Sure enough, this repeated a few times. Eventually, I was tired of the get-up, push, sit-down dance, so I told her to find something else to do.
Of course, my two-year-old was not happy to hear this, but she did as she was told.
What a perfect picture of how I tend to treat God.
I recognize the need for Him. I ask him to give me that first push.
But then as life gets going, I get prideful. I start thinking I can do this by myself.
I forget the momentum that started the whole thing was God. And I cannot keep going without Him.
Yet, I let my pride tell me I am responsible for the movement. I am the reason I am doing so well.
Then that swing starts to slow down. Things are out of my control… again. I recognize I need help.
I recognize my pride. I ask for forgiveness, ask for help, and then start the whole thing all over again.
Sometimes, I honestly sit and wonder why I suck so much!
I am currently under a huge conviction to put down my phone. I’ve had this conviction before. I’ve walked this same walk before. Yet, I fell right back into the trap.
Since I’ve had this conviction before, I thought I knew how to handle it. I will just stay off social media.
Well, social media was only part of the problem. Mindless scrolling through articles online. Mindlessly checking my email… which still only has junk in it… mindlessly checking work related stuff…
I let my pride tell me I knew what to do… only to have it revealed to me, that social media was not the main source of my struggle- I turned my phone into my comforter.
When I am bored… I go to my phone. When I am overwhelmed… I go to my phone. When I just need some me time… I go to my phone.
The problem is not my phone. The problem is how I am treating my phone. I’ve turned it into a mini-idol. It has become my source of comfort. Ouch!
If I am constantly going to my phone to numb my feelings, I give God no room to move. (Don’t get me wrong, He’s moving… I am just missing out.)
If I am overwhelmed and mindlessly start scrolling through my phone, I have missed the opportunity to hand my frustrations to God. Those feelings haven’t gone away, they are just placed aside while my mind goes elsewhere. Now I am holding onto those feelings instead of laying them at the foot of the cross. I have missed the opportunity to grow in relationship with him.
When I’m upset by bad news and I turn to Google for answers, I missed the opportunity to go to the only one with answers. Google may have facts, but Google cannot offer me comfort. Google cannot give me any peace. Google is not my God.
So here I sit again, on a swing slowing down in momentum. Asking the wrong thing to give me that comfort. Looking to be numbed rather than given life…I’m slowing to a stop, rather than looking to the only One who can make me move.
Praise God for His mercy. Praise God that He is still completing that good work in me. He knows I need a Savior, and His blood already covers me.
If you are in a similar situation, trust me when I say- I get it. But this conviction is straight from the Holy Spirit, don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow closer to God. God is the only one who can truly comfort. God is the only one who can give you what you need.
Lord, I don’t want to ever think I can do this on my own. Yet, often my actions reveal otherwise. I’m sorry God that I have let yet another thing take your place in my heart. I am sorry Lord, that I sin. But God, I am so grateful that you already knew I couldn’t do it on my own. You already knew I would fail. You already sent your Son to die for me, so that His blood already covers my sin. Thank you for refining me. Thank you for showing me the errors in my way. Help me stay on the straight and narrow path. Help me avoid the traps of this sin. Let me find rest in you and you alone.