Every parent and person who works with children probably wonders at some point “Why don’t they listen to me?” As adults with life experience, we know that kids aren’t wise enough to make the best choices without instruction. So, we tell and teach.
When we see that a young person has heard, we think, “Okay, they got it.” Then they make a mistake or do the very thing we warned about and we ask, “Why didn’t you listen to what I said?” We are disappointed, grieved, or frustrated as we have to repeat instruction, withhold rewards, clean up messes, etc.
As a young parent frustrated with cleaning up messes and dealing with crying kids, “why” was on my mind quite a bit. But one day I thought, “I wonder if God feels like this when I mess up?” Have you ever wondered that? Yes, the Lord is disappointed when we do wrong. Consider His words.
I am the LORD your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.
Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea. (Isaiah 48:17b-18)
Can you hear the heart cry of a loving heavenly Father? God said He is the One who teaches us the right way. He wants us to have peace, which is often in short supply in our hectic lives. If only we had listened!
Thankfully, God has more patience than we humans. He doesn’t zap us after the first mistake. Instead He gave us a book full of His heart, His wisdom, His instructions. If you’ve ever wondered why the Bible is such a big book, it’s because we don’t understand everything the first time. Therefore, in addition to the instructions in the Bible, the Lord has generously included stories to illustrate, songs (the Psalms) to inspire, and explanations to illuminate.
Why not spend some time in the Bible today and think about what you read? Meditate on it so you can understand and apply God’s Word. Then you can receive the blessings that God wants to give (including the peace discussed in the previous post).
Just as human parents want their kids to succeed in life, the Lord wants His children to succeed, also. Hopefully this will encourage you to listen well to the God who loves you!