A 5-year-old girl was looking for her sunglasses. She tugged on her Mom’s dress and cried out for them.
“Tell your Dad they are in the mailbox – the pair with the blue fingernail polish on them.”
The little girl ran over to her Dad, talking about her sunglasses being in the “blue box” (her own abbreviation).
“Mom said…” she cried out. Her Dad answered, “Yea I know.”
He was filling the backyard pool, and walked around to the front yard. Sure enough, there were two pairs of sunglasses in the mailbox. He shook his head, and brought one pair around to his daughter and gave the other to his wife.
His wife responded to his puzzled look, and said, “I came home with the groceries and stuck them in the mailbox for safekeeping.” He shook his head and went back to filling the pool.
The little girl was trying to pull her swimsuit on over her head with her clothes and sunglasses on. Her Mom took her inside and a few moments later the little girl came running outside, (swimsuit and sunglasses on) and charged toward the pool, jumping in. There was a big splash, and she was having the time of her life.
Moments later she heard music, and she ran around to the front yard screaming for the truck that was slowly driving by in front of their house to stop. “Crene Cream! Crene Cream!” She cried. It was the ice cream truck. “Crene Cream” was short for “ice cream cone.”
The truck stopped, and a man got out and stooped down and asked her what she wanted. He was having a “conversation” with her by the time her Mom came around to the front of the house.
Her Mom paid for an ice cream cone, and the truck left. She explained to her daughter, “Sweetheart, I want you to wait for Mommy or Daddy before you come out here and ask someone for ice cream.”
“Why Mommy? The man was nice.”
“Yes I know, but I want you to always be with us when you talk to someone about ice cream or take candy or treats from a stranger.”
“Buy why, Mommy?”
“Because Mommy and Daddy want to be the ones who give you treats.”
“Why can’t someone else give me ‘crene cream?’”
“Because not every stranger is nice and we want to be here with you to protect you. We don’t want you to run off by yourself. We want to be the ones to give you what you need.”
The parents in this story were the source for the little girl’s needs and wants. They were also her protection. The little girl had the understanding of a 5-year-old, and the parents had the understanding of adults.
They wanted to be the supplier of her needs.
It is the same way with God.
God supplied our greatest need for forgiveness by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, who died in our place on the cross and rose again from the dead. God wants to be at the center of our world, our protection, our help, and the source of what we need.
When we choose another source, another way, and decide to be the boss of our lives, that is called sin. “S” could stand for “Solo act.” “I” could stand for “I want what I want when I want it,” and “N” could stand for, “No, I won’t let God be God in my life.”
Compared to God, we have the knowledge, the experience, and the understanding of a 5-year-old. The Bible says, “Don’t lean on your own understanding.” It doesn’t say, “Don’t use your own understanding.” It says “Don’t lean.”
There is a big difference between using and leaning on our understanding. God has given us minds to do great things, but we don’t know the future, we only know a few people in this world (compared to God), and our experience, understanding, and knowledge is very finite. If you doubt this, go to the nearest university library and walk up and down the many rows of books. The many rows of books are only a very small fraction of what God knows.
In Isaiah 40, it says that “His understanding is unsearchable.” Another translation says, “His ways are beyond discovery.”
Most important of all, God wants to be our source. He wants us to depend upon Him. He wants to help us with the problems and the needs that arise in our lives every day. When we act independently of Him, when we choose to usurp His authority, that is what the Bible calls “sin.” It involves a lot more than just stealing a candy bar or some other act that we would see as bad, immoral, illegal, or destructive. It is an attitude of rebellion, independence, and the desire to take all the credit for the good in our lives.
Honestly, we couldn’t even breathe without Him. He is the one who gives us everything we have. But when we become unthankful, independent, and proud, self-sufficient people who take all the credit for our lives, it is a sin. This attitude often leads to God allowing us to go through experiences that teach us just how vulnerable we really are.
Do you see the danger that the little child could have been in? Do you see how much the parents loved her and wanted to be the ones who gave her what she needed? God loves us even more, and guards us and helps us more often than we realize.
In Matthew chapter 4 it talks about Jesus Christ being led into the wilderness to be tempted (to sin) by the devil. There is a part where the devil wants Jesus to turn a stone into bread. What is wrong with that?
It was wrong at that time because Jesus didn’t want to do anything independent of His Father God. Jesus answered, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” After the temptation experience, it says that angels came and ministered to Jesus. This was not uncommon for them, and in the story of Elijah in the Old Testament, angels came and cooked food for him. It wasn’t wrong for Jesus to eat bread. But at the moment He was being tempted, the devil wanted Him to act independent of God.
Only God is big enough to walk through the valley of grief with the hurting, to supply the needs of those who are empty, to heal the hurts of those who are in so much pain they cannot even speak.