Sticks - Week of August 23rd
By Judy NicholsAugust 23, 2015
We visited our daughter and her family last week. She started fixing supper and her 15-month-old son started melting down. Late afternoons are never easy for toddlers. So I was holding him as we watched her preparing the spaghetti. I asked her if Micah liked it and she said no, he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. Soon the pot of water was boiling and she dumped the box of spaghetti into it. At first they stuck up out of the water every which way, so I said, "Micah, look! Sticks! We get to have sticks for dinner!" He took that in and said what he always says about things on the stove: "Hot!"
In due time the meal was ready. We sat down, filled our plates, and began to eat. My daughter cut up MicahÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s little helping of spaghetti and attempted to feed him a spoonful. He turned his face away and ate a green bean instead. She said to him, "Look, Micah, Papa is eating his sticks." My husband joined the drama by opening wide and taking a big bite. Micah gave him a side-wise glance and hesitantly opened his mouth for the bite of spaghetti. Several more times during the meal, she reminded Micah that Papa was eating his sticks and eventually the entire helping was eaten.
The Scripture tells us we are to be imitators of God. When we think of that, we usually think of being kind, honest, generous, loving. But the Bible also says Jesus was tempted in all things as we are. We also know that he suffered many things. He suffered rejection by the religious leaders; He was misunderstood even by His closest followers. He had nowhere to lay His head. And He suffered unimaginable physical, emotional, and spiritual agony in his betrayal, trials, and crucifixion.
There are times in all our lives when we are experiencing something that we would much rather turn our faces away from. Illness, job loss, relationship problems, failure, financial reverses, natural or man-made disasters. We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t often have the choice of refusing it, but certainly wish we could. Perhaps we would do well in those moments to take a side-wise glance at Jesus, realize that He "ate His sticks," and do likewise.
Being imitators of God involves both the positive actions and attitudes embodied in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and the submission to His will, no matter the cost to ourselves, that we see in the life of Jesus Christ.
Ã‚Â© Judy Nichols 2015