Both......A simple word that has rocked my world today. You never know how God is going to speak or when or how simple it may be (in this case four little letters). Today He spoke through my oldest child. You should know that Ty Petty is a wonderful child. He is kind and funny. He never gets in trouble at school. He makes straight A's. He loves to read his bible. He helps with his siblings. But, there is one thing about this child of mine that disturbs me and worries me and makes me feel like we are failing him at times. He is stingy. He clings to what is "his" like nobody's business and always wants more. I will certainly take some of the blame for this trait, but somehow it is also a personality trait. His little sister 18 months younger is the exact opposite in that regard. So it is a heart issue that I am determined to remold only with the help and provision of the Holy Spirit. Today the battle was over some Pokemon cards that he saw at Walgreens yesterday and has become obsessed with. All he has thought about since is how he could come up with the money ($5) or get myself or one of his grandmothers to buy them for him. I was done in with the obsession and his self-pity by the afternoon so we sat down to watch a few videos on the World Vision website. Afterall, HE needed reminding how good he has it. HE needed to know how selfish he was being. So we watched a video on this page about the food crisis:
And when it was over I couldn't help but cry as I talked to him about what it meant to be so poor that you didn't have food. And then I painted a picture for him: "You have $5. Your dear friend needs food and has no where else to get it. He is hungry. He needs $5. Do you give it to him for food or do you buy your Pokemon cards?" And then he said it, "Both." I explained a few times that he couldn't do both, but he refused logic and kept insisting, "Both." And that is when God spoke to my spirit. "You are that child." I didn't even argue. I sat there and cried. Of course I want both. I want Jesus, and I want new patio furniture. I want to serve the poor, and I want to watch a movie and relax because I am so tired. I want to be in God's will, and I want to plan out every week of my summer according to my plans. I want "Both."
So then I sat there, and I held my son and just told him that I love him. Because I do. And the fact is that no matter what his attitude or heart look like, I love him. And if he realizes that Pokemon cards won't make him happy, I will love him. And if he wants more stuff until the day he dies, I will love him. Because he is my child. He is a part of me. He has my heart. But I want, I desire for him to know the joy that comes from a life of giving and self-sacrifice because I know that if he learns that lesson he will have a joy-filled, wonderful life. And I know that if he spends his life chasing things and self-satisfaction, he will have a hard and often disappointing life.
And I feel God whisper, "I know what will give you a joyful life, but you have to sacrifice." And I feel Him whisper, "You are mine, and I love you no matter what." And I just want to know, "What do want from me, Lord? What is your perfect will for my life?" And I feel him whisper, "I will tell you when you let go of 'BOTH'."