I hang with Caleb often, but this time would be different.
For anyone reading this who doesnt know…Caleb is 6 years old, he is technically my little cousin but our relationship resembles that of an auntie and nephew. I’ve been loving me some him ever since I first saw him at 3 months. There was an instant bond ❤
It had been a few weeks, so I was excited to go get Caleb and take him to the Corn Maze and Pumpkin patch this particular Saturday morning. He is always excited to see me, so he anxiously gets ready for us to leave and we head out.
As soon as we arrived at our destination, we saw a slide and without hesitation Caleb let me know that he would be too scared to get on it. He is a cautious child and prefers more practical activities that he is less likely to get hurt on. With that being said, he gravitated towards water pump duck racing and dirt digging with a crane like scoopy tool. Overall it was a good time….but I have to mention what I’m about to say for the point of the parallel.
While we were there it was a constant battle between Caleb’s will and mine.
Me: Caleb lets get on this(knowing he would enjoy it)
Caleb: I don’t want to get on that.
He gets on it and has a blast.
Me: Ok Caleb lets move to the next activity(after being on the same thing for about 20 minutes lol)
Caleb: Glued to the activity and physically has to get pulled away.
Me: Let’s do some group activities (since Caleb has been a loner majority of the time)
Caleb: Not really interested but when it’s time to go…he wants to stay with the kids. Caleb just wanted to do the opposite of whatever I said.
Does this sound familiar??? Well….let’s “spill the beans”…Caleb is me/us and I’m a representation of God.
We think we know what’s best, unwilling to go with the nudge that God gives us to move on and do more. All the while we are too willing to stay in our comfort zone of what we like. On the daily, many of us battle what we want to do vs. what God wants to do. We buck against the will of God disregarding the fact that God knows what will fulfill our hearts and our purpose. God is a Protector and Healer Who wont lead us into harms way, yet if we do get hurt He has that taken care of too!!
It is crucial that we allow God to lead us while having a willing heart, trusting that He knows best and that He can see all…even if it’s in territories we are not familiar with.
Ok back to the story 🙂 Later we head to the mall to get Caleb some shoes and clothes, but what seems more prevalent is his request for a toy. In between shopping I make sure we stop and get him a toy because he has been nagging for one and simply won’t let it go. He chose two things but I let him know that he can only have one. I make the choice for him while he is in space staring at all the others toys(distracted), because I’m confident that I know what he likes. On the way out he comes back down to earth and sees the toy I chose and says he wants the other one instead. Me: You don’t want that one because its Mickey mouse and the arms dont move. (He is not a disney character guy) Caleb: It wont be Mickey mouse and the arms will move. The exact opposite of what I said. We discuss it and go back to the register to swap for the other toy. He opens the box and says, “you were right it’s Mickey mouse and it doesn’t move, I want to take it back”. By this time we are in another store and we arent going back. He cries and talks about the other toy until he goes to bed.
Me: Your behavior is not helping the cause and I don’t want to talk about the same thing anymore.
Caleb: I won’t be happy until I get that toy.
Scurrrrrrrrrrrrrred! (like a fast car coming to a quick stop) Pause.
This is where it gets real! Not that it hadn’t been real all day….but this is where I woke up! “I won’t be happy until I get that toy?????!!!!!!” Has God ever been blessing you in your life and all you can focus on is what you don’t have?! I’ll be the first to say it, yes. Have you ever told God through actions or words that you won’t be happy unless He gives you something unnecessary or that He said no to? (Guilty again)
I have never had this much back and forth with Caleb in his 6 years of life but God let me know soon after the first activity that He was about to show me myself through Caleb. The audacity we have to tell the ONLY Wise God, “I wont be happy until I have this(whatever that may be)”…. I felt conviction, recognized that I needed to humble myself, and saw the need to reverence my Father more which is still the case even as I type. It’s ok to share our desires and wants with God but this was wayyyyy too much. God does SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for us and we show Him how much we appreciate Him by telling Him we won’t be happy until He does this one thing that we don’t even need. OMG. I was able to feel how God felt through this back and forth and this wasn’t the best feeling, it was annoying. I’m thankful to God for His infinite patience.
Let’s get back to the other side of the parallel once again.
Earlier that day while we visited my aunt, Caleb was watching tv and saw the previews of a scary movie with a snow man. After we left he asks me about the scary snow man and I let him know that it isn’t real and I don’t watch scary movies because I don’t like to be scared. He continues to ask questions so I tell him the “no sugar” truth. Scary movies are originated to bring fear and fear is from the devil. The devil wants you to be afraid so you can’t function normally and do what you are supposed to be doing. Side note: Children are being exposed to some real stuff and sometimes we just have to be flat out.
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:16-19 KJV
Every time Caleb thought about this preview we discussed how it wasn’t real, how snow is harmless, and how he walks on snow. I told him not to be afraid because I wouldn’t let anything get him. He said ok, relaxed for a minute, but moments later he brings it up again. Caleb: The snowman is scary and I wish the devil wasn’t real. Me: We all do but God is stronger!
We get home after a long day of activities and shopping. Im getting him ready for a shower and as he uses the bathroom I step out for a quick second. On my way to my room I glance in the bathroom and see Caleb crying serious tears and I do mean serious. I run in there, kneal down, and look in his face with God’s love exclaiming “what’s wrong?!?!”. Crying profusely and barely able to talk he cries, “I need you to protect me!!!!”. Im looking in his eyes as I tell him I will never leave him or let anything happen to him! I know for a fact its God making my heart flutter with a stronger love than I’ve ever felt before! I literally felt it and I wish words could describe it!
Please listen….God is serious about His love for us!! Its an unexplainable love and for a moment I could understand why He died for us! The thought of us being in danger was TOO much to bare so He gave His ALL for us!!!!!!!
Caleb: I want you to stay in the bathroom with me. So I get comfortable in the middle of the bathroom floor until he is done. He gets in the bed, jumps under the cover, and mentions the snowman again. “Caleb! Baby! I am not going to let anything happen to you, not to mention its not even snowing outside and IT IS NOT real!”, I tried to explain. He follows me all over the house(literally on my back) as I move around to get ready for bed and the next day. He falls asleep as soon as his eyes close. Tired. Tired from being restless all day about what equates to nothing.
I wake up the next morning and get myself ready first so when Caleb awakes I can focus on what he needs. I have in mind what he will need and plan things out for him. I am in full hope that today will be better than yesterday and Im ready to start fresh with him. This is definitely how God feels about us!
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV
This is real. No matter what we’ve done…God is always ready to start afresh!
Caleb wakes up and brushes his teeth, I iron his clothes that are laid out, make his oatmeal, and allow him to play his favorite game that he always asks about. I think to myself how awesome it is to have him around because I love him so much. Me: You won’t be playing the game for long because I want you to watch something educational. (Caleb gets overly consumed while playing the game and watching tv so I try to make sure he gets some substance….especially in the morning.) His oatmeal is done now, I turn the game off, and I flick through the channels to find something other than Spongebob. I give him the two choices that have substance. He argues with me about what we already discussed. We were on different pages the whole time he was with me because I wanted the best things for him and he wanted only what he wanted. This is true in our relationship with God.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Galatians 5:17 KJV
It is a constant battle!
Once we get in the car he mentions the toy again. He has been playing with the toy from yesterday along with another from the house and both are in his hand. I still consider eventually getting the toy because the boy is serious. After church we get food and his meal comes with a toy. I’m like cool, this will solve all this talk about that other toy! Then he says, “I still want the other toy”. 👊🏽 Until the moment I dropped him off he asked about that toy but what he didn’t know is he could’ve had a toy chest if he just chilled. At one point I told him, “Bay you have to learn to just chill and ride” because he was trying to dictate and tell me what he wants all while I’m driving.
Has the same ever been true in our relationship with God. Yep. The Word is full of scriptures reminding us to trust in God i.e. chill!
There are endless stories, lessons, and parallels to these 2 days and I’m not trying to write a book so I’ll stop. What I do need to mention is how amazing it was to have the feelings I felt toward Caleb even while he was acting out and challenging EVERYthing I said or did. I felt like I loved him and would never deprive him, leave him, and I would do anything including die for him! Every moment that I was awake with Caleb for those 2 days was a learning experience. It was truly profound. I pray that God allows me to articulate this experience as best as possible. It was not an ordinary interaction between Caleb and I. We hang all the time, this experience was an obvious difference. It was a parallel between us and God.
Conclusion…..This was a lesson of how selfish we are by nature, how we are afraid of things that aren’t real and things that we have the power over, how God knows our nature and is still there for every moment, how God stills cares for us regardless of what we do, how God thinks of us and has our day planned out before we even wake up, how no matter what we did the day before when we wake up its with new mercies that God greets us ready to provide, protect, love, and bless, how God has our best interest at heart, how He died at the thought of us being separated from Him, how He would do anything to keep us protected, how He wants us to be appreciative of what He has given us already and He will make room for more, and lastly how we need to just chill/trust He is taking care of everything. I learned that I need to trust in God more and give Him the glory in all aspects of my life! This experience was amazing!!! To feel the heart of God towards us was beyond what I can’t explain. I know what people mean when they say “I’m forever grateful”…. because I truly am.
If you have had similar experiences, can testify to one of the points, or just want to share something….please do leave a comment! 🙂
Song recommendation after reading this: Amante Lacey- To Be Loved By You (listen to the song and the story behind it)