Earlier this week, we were playing “house.”
I’m not sure what your “house-playing” is like, but our recent “house-playing” consisted of the following activities:
-Fixing the house with his hammer (I know, I know…I was equally confused)
-Driving a car (yes, in the house) and making random stops to the zoo, school, and gas station (“filler up, please”)
-Getting our car stuck in the mud (yes, still in the house) and then having to use a tow truck (which was also conveniently located in the house) to get us out
-Loading animals onto an ark AND pirate ship (apparently there was not enough room in the ark…huh?) in order to escape a flood while a helicopter attempted to rescue the “drowned animals” (does that mean we are rescuing animals that already died?)
-And sleeping (which involves lots of talking, loud shushing, and wide-open eyes)
Yes, I know…it’s quite the house-life!
After playing “house” for what felt like a good, solid hour (which is apparently only 27 minutes in “real house time”), I started for the door and the morning chores. In what could have been a cunning ploy to keep me seated, Caden decided that he needed to read his Bible to me before we concluded our playing of “house.”
Well-played, little lad…well-played. I was a captivated audience.
As he eagerly grabbed for his Bible and jumped onto his disheveled bunk bed (we don’t even try to keep beds made around here), he flung it open and began studying the words.
It wasn’t even a few seconds later when he huffed, “Mommy, can you help me know these words?”
I was immediately struck by his semi-frustrated words.
In fact, I think I was so quickly struck by his words because they sounded incredibly similar to the ones I had uttered earlier in the week…except I was talking to God.
Both of the kids were down for their afternoon nap (cue a host of angels playing silent, celebratory trumpets), and I had just sat down with my new Ezekiel study spread out before me. Just like Caden, I was eager to jump in, but as I started to look through the pages in front of me, I felt slightly overwhelmed.
17 lessons…34 weeks…48 chapters…and then this is how the book opens…
“Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity…”
What year? What month? What river? What captives? What king? Who picked this study???
Seriously, I think I felt as overwhelmed as Caden did only I’m supposed to be the one equipped with adult reading skills!
Feeling in over my head, I drew a deep breath, bowed my head, and asked for some help.
Lord, I have NO clue what you want to teach me through this study. I have NO clue how to even begin to unpack what you want to teach me. I need your help. Open my mind. Open my ears. Open my heart. Teach me what you want to teach me.
And though my 30 year-old words may have been a smidge more sophisticated than my 3 year-old’s words, our requests were pretty much the same. “Lord, can you help me know these words?”
So how did I answer my little boy’s endearing plea for help?
Did I laugh at his request? Did I dismiss his need for assistance? Did I feel irritated by his desire to know and understand?
No, not at all…not even a little bit. In fact, I felt the complete opposite. I was not only thrilled that he wanted to know and understand the words, but I also felt super delighted that he wanted ME to be a part of the process.
“Sure, buddy. I would love to help you. Bring it here.”
If I (a fallen, flawed, and finite mom) was quick to respond with loving help, how much more would God (an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-perfect father) be eager to provide His children with help?
Umm…yeah. Suffice to say, I can’t comprehend it.
And just as I took Caden into my lap and read through the words on the page (explaining and discussing their meaning with him), God did the same for me.
In those first three chapters of Ezekiel…
He opened my mind, revealing that Ezekiel was a faithful man who was called by God to do a not-so-pleasant task.
He opened my ears, whispering, “Jessica, are you being a faithful servant in the not-so-pleasant tasks I have given you?”
He opened my heart, uncovering some areas in my life where I am quick to bail when things get tough and unpleasant.
He heard my request, and then He lovingly answered.
Because He promised He would.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” -Matthew 7:7-11