Day 13 - Saturday, January 21, 2023
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Have you ever tried to argue with a toddler? They are difficult to persuade. Especially if they believe whatever they are fighting for is right. There was a mom and daughter, who are similar in so many ways. They both have a strong will and will not be moved even (at the very rare occasion) if they are wrong. The mom was taking the daughter to get some ice cream at the end of a very long week. As they were walking out of the building the toddler saw a vending machine. She thought there was ice cream in the vending machine and was not moving until she got her ice cream. Now the toddler did not have any clue the mom was taking her to get ice cream, all she knew was she wanted ice cream from the vending machine that did not have ice cream. The mom tried to persuade the child to come with her. The child would not be persuaded. She knew what she wanted, and she knew where to get it. Except she was wrong. The mom persisted; the child was still unmoving. The mom gave the look, the child went unfazed. The mom began the dreaded count down, the child demanded her ice cream.
As wrong as the child was, she would not be moved by the mom. She thought she knew what she wanted, she also thought she knew the best way to get what she wanted. The mom finally got to “three” and the child stomped down the hall frustrated that she was not getting what she wanted. The child thought the mom was withholding something from her and it almost cost her the very thing she wanted the most- the ice cream the mom was taking the child to get. What helped the child in the moment where she was unwilling to be persuaded- the mother’s love.
Often, we can resemble this stubborn yet lovable child. Jesus has so much love for us and tells us we will never be forsaken or separated from this Love. However, we begin to buy into the lie that our sins, decisions, actions, doubts, failures, or even the enemy himself can separate us from the love Jesus has for us. This kind of thinking leads us in one of two directions. Either we give up and think we will never get it right; or we task manage our relationship with Jesus to ensure we “do” what’s required hoping to not make a mistake or let Him down. Like the child, we get confused when He calls thinking it’s always about correction (even though it might be to simply show us how much He loves us). We develop a tendency to become stubborn in how we think He wants us to live our lives. No matter what He does we cannot be persuaded.
There is a better way. Be persuaded by the love of Jesus, as Paul says in Romans. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Oh, by the way the mom bought the girl that ice cream. Dirt and worms- she loved it.