Wednesday, July 14, 2010

TODDLER TORNADO

Nothing can wreak havoc like a hurricane, severe hail storm, or tsunami—or can it? What about toddler tornados? They blow through your house like TNT in less than five minutes and leave a path of destruction that takes hours to clean.

Toddlers grab everything within reach and throw it on the floor. I call it the “dump and dash.” If not watched every second, they will dig through trash, empty cabinets, and scurry out the back door. Their eyes will spot the tiniest foreign object on the floor and, within a millisecond, it will be in their mouth. No matter how clean or child-proof, no environment is completely safe.

With a little dose of independence, toddlers have to be told NO continually and removed from harmful situations. They don’t recognize the danger in electrical outlets, hot stoves, or sharp objects. They whine, cry and pitch temper tantrums when they don’t get their way and, yet, we love them with ever fiber of our being, just the way God loves us.

Watching the antics of one, two and three-year-olds, makes me wonder what God thinks when we accept His gift of salvation and go through the toddler stage of Christianity. As “babes in Christ,” we are totally dependent on our pastors, mentors, and fellow believers to help us “grow.” Until God’s Word takes root in our heart, we don’t always know right from wrong. We sometimes stumble along the wrong path, unaware of harmful situations that lie ahead.

Even at our worst—even when we, as adults, whine, cry and pitch temper tantrums because things don’t go our way or God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we think He should—He loves and patiently corrects us, pointing us back in the right direction.

Just as our babies grow, mature, and become more responsible, we go through the same process in our Christian walk. In the song “Fat Baby” by Amy Grant, there is a line that says: “He wants his bottle and he don’t mean maybe.” There comes a time when we can no longer thrive on the “sincere milk of the Word”—we must be nourished by the “meat of the Word.”

Growing pains are always tough, but they come with the territory. When we strive to reach our full potential in Christ, the rewards are well worth the effort.