Did you see this video of my sweet little Iris during a less than sweet little moment?
My little lady baby wanted that donut… really badly! She saw that box, the one she couldn’t reach, the one I wouldn’t go over and give to her, the one that was teasing her from up there on the counter.
and she threw the biggest of fits.
I sat right behind her with a donut in hand. Calling to her. Offering her the donut she wanted so much.
But she wouldn’t turn around.
She wouldn’t stop struggling. She wouldn’t listen to my calling.
“That donut you want… I have it here for you.”
And, oh my goodness, was she ever mad. Until she finally chose to turn around and see what I’d been telling her all along, “I have a donut for you right here. You don’t have to scream. You don’t have to climb. You don’t need that box. I have the donut right here for you.”
Then she was happy to sit on my lap with her donut.
And you guys saw it right away, the very thing I wrote in the video subtitle.
Iris was mad because her eyes were on the wrong prize. She didn’t need to get the donut box because I already had a donut ready for her.
Iris was furious because the box wasn’t within her reach. But the donut meant for her was right there the whole time.
Iris was exasperated because no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get the donut on her own. Yet, I’d already done the “tough” work, she just needed to hear me call.
All I did was put up this video and many of you wrote how you saw parallels with Iris and frustrations as an adult and in your walk as a Christian. And you wanted me to write on it more.
So I ask this afternoon: What prize are your eyes focued on?
I can think of way too many times that I’ve been so focused on a “prize.” And just like Iris, I was mad that I couldn’t have it. Frustrated that I couldn’t reach it. Exasperated that my efforts continually came up short .
Ever been mad that God seemingly won’t give you the prize you’re sure should be yours?
Are your eyes on the wrong prize?
More than that, I’ll ask another question: What about your ears?
‘Cause see here, I get why Iris was confused: the donut box holds the donuts and she couldn’t reach it. She didn’t see that I’d already chosen one for her. Her back was turned to the reality that the delicious treat she greatly desired was right behind her. How was she to know that to get the donut she greatly desired, she had to take her eyes off the prize she greatly in order to see that it had been right there for her all along?
I was calling to her.
Sometimes gently… Sometimes louder to try and be heard above her wailing… Sometimes I wasn’t calling, instead I waited for her to pause so she could hear me. But she didn’t wait long enough between fits to hear me, didn’t cry soft enough so my voice could break through her noise, she didn’t relent when it became apparent to her I was trying to get her to turn away her pursuit of that box…
So… it took way too long before she was finally exhausted enough to hear me, to turn to me and see I’d had just what she’d wanted all along.
Friends, let’s think on the parallels there with our walk with God.
For me, the two scriptures I keep coming back to are:
I Am the Good Shepherd
“”Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.””
This parable hits close to home for me, how about you? How many times am I so head-strong and heart-weary that I won’t follow the direction of God in favor of persisting in my own plans? Kind of seems silly to see Iris ignore my voice as she continued her futile efforts to get that donut on her own… how much more when I think of my own struggles with God?
The other scripture I haven’t visited/ re-read in a while:
The Lord Speaks to Elijah
“There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?””
1 Kings 19:9-13
“…the sound of a low whisper…”
Iris refused to quiet enough to hear my call. She was too mad, too insistent she knew what she needed that she refused to hear me. Oh my, to think about how my actions do that to God!
As you watched our little video or read through this post, what scriptures is God bringing to mind to speak to your walk with Him? What lessons is God speaking truth into for you today?