Aliyah, my two-year-old daughter, has already proven herself to own a tenacious streak that rears its head from time to time. Recognizing that characteristic to have come from me, I (kind of) know what to expect when it displays itself in a negative light– a battle of the wills.
We had one such battle this morning. Both girls are recovering from a nasty sickness that overtook our home for the past week, leaving us all a little grumpy and anxious to get back to our routines. In response to me telling Aliyah not to touch all of the electronics on my night stand (all being a total of two: my cell phone and my Kindle Fire), she decided to tap (hit) me in the face. It wasn’t hard and it is along the lines of a game the she and her daddy play from time to time, however, there was a need for consequence. In all, she ended up in time out and was required to apologize to me.
A single word, that’s all it would take for her to be released from her spot in the corner. After a couple minutes I would direct her to say, “I’m sorry Mommy,” or even just, “sorry.” Tears would come, kisses would be offered, giggles would tried, but no ounce of “sorry” was uttered. So she would be put back into timeout. Again. And again.
I’m humbled when I consider how often I react this way to God. I’ll act out, find myself dealing with the consequences, and all that needs to happen to change my circumstance is to acknowledge my mistake and cry out to God. In a single word, I could find forgiveness. But instead, I defiantly stand in my corner, complaining but never doing the one simple thing that would release me– crying out to God.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:17-18, NIV)
When we cry out to God, He hears and answers us. When Aliyah finally said sorry, I held her tightly in my arms assuring her that I forgave her and that I loved her. God responds the same way, if only we resolve to throw away out pride and cry out to Him.