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Hands in the Way

August 19th, 2008

Focus Text: Proverbs 1: 22-23 (NLT)

22 “How long, you simpletons,
      will you insist on being simpleminded?
   How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
      How long will you fools hate knowledge?
 23 Come and listen to my counsel.
   I’ll share my heart with you
      and make you wise.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Okay, so she has a good excuse: she’s only five weeks old.  Today, my little darling, Sadie, has been filling our lives with adventure, mystery, and insomnia for exactly five weeks.  She’s also still filling diapers by the truckload, but that’s another story.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?  

Five week-olds can get away with anything.  They can cry as loud as they want to in any situation with no regard for social appropriateness or embarrassment.  They can change clothes a dozen times a day and have no worries about water bills or excessive laundry piles.  They can poop at their pleasure and for the most part, be praised for it!  Oh yeah, I’d say she’s got it made.

One of the most fascinating features of my little precious one is her active little limbs.  Since day one, Sadie has been flopping around her little arms and legs with reckless abandon.  Even her pediatrician was surprised at the feverish flurry of her phalanges.  Now, I know that research tells us that she isn’t yet aware of her own hands and feet, but I beg to differ.

Apparently, Sadie is quite the little helper.  Every time I go to feed her her bottle, she insists on “assisting” me in the process by trying to help me get the bottle in her mouth.  However, the awkwardness of her limited coordination just makes the whole thing a very amusing mess . . . and the more hungry she is, the more she tries to “help.”  Thus, the very thing that she is so desperate to attain- a full tummy- is foiled by her own attempts to take control of the situation.

Now, I’m no weakling (again, eye rolls to a minimum,) but Sadie can create quite the obstacle to feeding time.  Little hands and elbows flailing about, sometimes Mommy and Daddy tag-team the operation with one holding back the hands and keeping the burp cloth in place while the other takes aim at the mouth with the bottle.  Once the bottle is in place, the hands seems to lose their desire to aid the parentials and feeding can commence.  

Sure, she can’t understand what I’m saying to her, but that certainly doesn’t keep me from talking to her incessantly.  At that intense moment that her crying is escalating and I can’t get seem to get past her “kung fu” defensive maneuvers, I try to reason with her.  “Come on darling, don’t fight me- move your hands.” For some reason, my words seem to fall on deaf ears– at that moment, her need overrides her understanding and her efforts hurt her own cause.

This scripture somewhat reminds me of the reflections of a frustrated father.  “How long will you insist on being simpleminded?  How long will you hate knowledge?”  Again, Sadie has a great excuse: she’s not even six-weeks old yet, but for most of us who read this passage, we have no such excuse.

Sadie, as the “apple” of my eye, hasn’t fallen far from the tree.  I can’t recollect the innumerable times that I sense myself inadvertently fighting against wisdom and blocking the very things that I desire the most.  My incessant desire to succeed causes my pride to get in the way of God’s timing.  My impatience with other people creates frustration and robs me of the love the God would so willingly fill my life with. I want the right things, but I just want them now and I want to take control! 

Occasionally, I hear the gentle voice of the Father: “How long will you be simpleminded?  How long will you fight against my wisdom?”  In other words, “Move your hands, Son!  I’m trying to help you, but you’re getting in the way.”

Ah, but the day is fast approaching (too fast, if you ask me) that my little darling will recognize more than the tone of her daddy’s voice; she’ll actually understand what I’m saying.  She’ll also have deliberate control of her limbs and will know when she’s helping and when she’s hindering.  That day is coming for her for purely chronological reasons.  She’ll simply grow up.

But chronological growth and spiritual growth are two very different things.  Concerning the things of God, getting older doesn’t mean that we necessarily get wiser.  Perpetual childhood is the condition of many believers, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  For myself, may the day be fast approaching where I will no longer function as a “simpleton.”  May it be today!  

Besides, I love the end of the verse: “I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.”  Wow, what a statement from a Father who desires to lovingly teach His children, revealing another key truth about wisdom: wisdom begins when we understand the heart of the Father.  That’s a heart I’m beginning to understand better.  

“How long” for Sadie?  Just a few more months.  “How long” for you and I?  I suppose that’s our decision.


Lauren Duke
August 19th, 2008 at 4:23 pm

“How long will you fools hate knowledge?” I love that! That reminds me of students. Ok, it reminds me of me. Going to class is boring and hard and we would rather just not go and stay in bed. Why do we hate knowledge? Does it really take too much effort to learn about a fraction? We spend countless hours trying to go perfect our guitar hero skills! Yet, how much easier is it to open a bible and read a scripture? How hard is it to talk to God? Most of us love to talk! Ok, that would be me again. But how hard is it to praise the Lord for what he has done instead of praising ourselves? We will walk around in the dark unless we ask our Father to show us the light. We won’t know what God wants for us if we never ask Him. And if I listen to Him, I will have knowledge.

Annie Meier
August 19th, 2008 at 6:01 pm

“Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.” This really jumped out at me. For me its hard to just sit and listen to His voice. I get impatient, and think that God isn’t going to speak to me because He doesn’t do it when I want Him too. But if I just sit and listen to what His plan is for me, then He will make me wise. I desire to have His wisdom, so I need to shut up and listen. I get like Sadie where I just want to “help” God out, but He doesn’t need my help! He is writing the tapestry of my life on an empty canvas and I forget how capable He is to do it! If I listen to Him, He will give me wisdom to understand His heart.

August 19th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

WOW, this is so wicked ballin, because here lately i’vjust been stupid and foolish to say the least.I have been trying so hard to do everthing on my own that i realy have been gettin in the way of what God is realy trying to do in my life.I mean i’v just been so focused on trying to get more gifts of the spirit ,that i haven’t even noticed that it seems like God is pulling me more and more into worship and leading up a strong revival ,but not only with kid’s in our youth group or my school but in myself as well.. well thats all i’v got to say about that ! LOVE-PEACE-CHICKEN GREACE

seth wharton
August 20th, 2008 at 1:12 am

wow i love this. i can’t even count all of the times that i foolishly turn away wisdom,i literally push away the hand that feeds me and gives me life. all of the times that i say o well i don’t need your help with this god. i’ve done it before i’ll be fine on my own. i’ve been so worried about finding a comfort zone that i already know how things operate at school and home, even in my spiritual life, that i just get to where i’m comfortable and to where i don’t need god, or at least i tell myself that. i’m just so glad that he’s there to show me where to go and help me grow closer to him!!!

Kennah Mathews
August 20th, 2008 at 1:55 am

Sadie makes me smile and I’m not even there! 🙂
Anyways, God is readily there to give more wisdom. I always thought that he sparingly did it, and that I hardly ever had any opportunities given to me. Boy, how wrong I was! He constantly awaits for OUR arrival not his. He is fully loaded and ready to send me all kinds of signs to help me out in my life. That is, when I want to give up my control. He wants to share it with me! He wants to teach me in the areas that need teaching. He wants to heal areas that need healing. He wants to restore areas that need restoring. I need to be willing to allow his wisdom in my life. I’m putting my arms down, and letting him feed me!

Jessica Young
August 21st, 2008 at 2:27 am

Hey pj. I was just on myspace looking around, and I went on a profile and saw the most touching video I have ever seen in my whole life. Pastor John, it touched my heart, it opened my mind, and spoke to me. Your always talking about how we should always tell people about God, and that sort of thing. But this, this right here made me want to scream out his name. I would love for you to take a look at it. Thanks so much.
Much love.
Jessica Young. (:


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