In the Christian journey there are many occasions when one can have doubts and begin to question whether what he/she feels is the voice of the Lord is indeed such, or instead the voice of their own wishful thinking, conscience, the lies of Satan, or more worryingly still, the voice of those who masquerade as angels of light. I have experienced this in the past many times. I come to a point where I have to make an important choice, and my head is telling me to do something, my heart to do something completely the opposite, and a whole load of other voices in the background suggesting neither one or the other, but a whole load of senseless alternatives which immerse my all in fear and confusion. There are other glorious occasions however, when the weight of God’s discipline is such, the conviction so utterly strong and piercing, that no room is left for doubt in one’s heart that the path I am taking is categorically wrong and there is no room whatsoever for negotiation.
Last night being a Wednesday night, my husband and I were planning to sit down together to watch one of our favourite programs on TV at present. To be honest, there is not much on right now which we consider worth losing our precious time over, but this particular program is one that makes us both laugh and gives us a wonderful insight into the human psyche when individuals are put under extreme pressure. Whilst you watch it, you often wonder: What would I do in that situation? How would I cope? Would I compromise my morals? Would I put others first or look after number one? All questions which as a Christian I can relate to on a daily basis and which help me daily to aim for Christ-likeness and not world-liness. My husband and I have incredibly different tastes when it comes to music, films and reading, and so it is nice to sit down together to watch something we both really enjoy, and it is probably the fact that we both know how much each other enjoys this program that makes it all the more enjoyable.
Anyway, it was nearly time for the program to start and my husband was really rushing to get all things finished in the office so that he could come and sit down with me. In the house, I was rushing to try to get the kids to bed to also be able to spend that time with my husband, but more selfishly so that I would not miss this episode. Putting our 9-year-old to bed is like the English trying to defeat the Spanish Armada. It is impossible to tackle this task on one’s own strength. You need supernatural forces to secure victory. Our 9-year-old has more energy than those toy bunnies which run eternally on Duracell batteries. Persuading him to go to bed is like attempting to climb the Himalaya every single evening, not that I have ever attempted that, but I am sure you get the picture. I have to add at this point that the joy this boy brings to our lives far outweighs the challenges that we face bringing him up. In a way and as no surprise comes the fact that he is just like his dad: undoubtedly an irreplaceable blessing from God who at times brings the worst out in me. God knows I would not be without either of them, though.
Ten minutes have gone by and I have run out of reasons to explain to him why he should brush his teeth. Completely oblivious to why his mother should be in such a state of hysteria over toothpaste and a toothbrush, he continues waffling on about the naughty things he has been getting up to at school and memories of the day which are causing him to be immersed in his own little world of mischievousness and comedy. My patience begins to wear thin, and so I go into survival mode and say: “If you do not clean your teeth immediately and get to bed within two minutes, I am afraid you are gonna have to go without prayer tonight. There is a program that mummy and daddy want to watch and you are taking far too long to get yourself ready for bed. I do not want to miss it”. On hearing that, my elusive son who is away with the fairies comes back right down to earth in that split second and staring right at me says: “But mummy, you love God more than TV, don’t you?”
If you were ever in doubt about the manner in which the conviction of the Holy Spirit comes, I hope this gives you a little taster. His words pierced right through my stomach. I literally stopped right on my tracks as I was heading downstairs, and felt like someone had hit me hard right on the stomach. The conviction of my hypocrisy weighed so heavy upon me, I just could not move. I don’t know what shocked me more, whether God’s rebuke or the fact that He had chosen my 9-year-old son, who has learning difficulties, struggles to process information and I often have to pin down to the seat in church, to deliver such a gigantic lesson on consistency, integrity and authenticity in my faith journey.
Here is a woman who dreams of changing the world by putting her faith into action, and yet I am failing in the little things, which though may appear to be trivial, are the initial hurdles one must overcome to be able to step into the boots of those who represent God on this earth with nothing other than EXCELLENCE.
It is no wonder then that Jesus spoke on more than one occasion about entrusting with many things and bigger things those who are faithful with a few things, with the little things.
Is there anyone in your life right now whose voice you are shutting out, whose voice you are too busy or arrogant to listen to? Is there anyone in your life you are dismissing because in the world’s eyes their opinion or counsel is of no consequence to you, though they may be the very vessel whom God has chosen to avert disaster or combat mediocrity in your life? Did God not say the He uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise? And why would God want to confound the wise if not to snap them out of their own pride, self-sufficiency and utter blindness?
Father, I thank you for both my children who increasingly seem to be the voices in my life which you are using to bring me conviction, discipline and utter delight as I realise they are already on the palm of your hand ready to be molded and refined into your own image. Praise you Father, Son and Holy Spirit for though I often worry about the spiritual future of my children, every now and then you give me breath-taking glimpses of what an intricate and overwhelming part you already play in the people they will one day become.