As we walked to school the other day, my three year old son informed me that, “when I am four, I will be a teenager”.
Our other two kids (and I) chuckled together at the ridiculous picture of our four year old ‘baby’ sitting in a grade 5 class! Despite the mockery, Winter remained undeterred!
Our older two could take encouragement from the fact that their little bother wanted to be like them – all grown up – and to do what he saw the teenagers doing. But Winter had a while to go before he could handle the weight of responsibility that accompanied being a 13 year old!
There is nothing wrong with being inspired by others around us, but when we begin to fast track (or even side step) the necessary process of increasing our capacity and deepening the foundation of our maturity, we set ourselves up for a fall.
The Israelites also wanted to be like the kids next door. They wanted to give God the sack and replace him with a king like the other nations that surrounded them. However the prophet Samuel warned them against it:
“The king will draft an army and procure slaves from among the people, including your daughters. He will take the best of your fields and a tenth of your income” (Samuel 8:11-18)
But despite the warnings, the people refused to listen to this grey-haired kill-joy:
‘But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. “We want to be like the nations around us” (8:19-20)
The rest of Israel’s ensuing history proved Samuel’s warning to be true. Ultimately placing the fate of their nation into the hands of power hungry leaders led to their demise.
We want what we want now. That’s understandable. So do I! But it’s a solemn reminder that often God will withhold the very thing we are demanding because He has the wisdom to see the potential destruction if it was given.
There are also those times that just as He did with Israel, that God will give us what we are demanding. And when we find ourselves in deeper waters than we can handle, we are reminded and invited once again to trust God in the process!