As far as I'm concerned, potty training is the worst part of parenting. Cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night? Not a problem. Changing overflowing, dirty diapers? No biggie. But trying to teach a child how to use the potty and then convince him to do so? The very thought makes me shudder.
So when my husband and I decided that it was finally time to potty train Timmy, our 3-year-old (he of the "Oh, no no no. I don't want to" opinion on using the potty), I was ready to bribe him with whatever it took to make the process easier on all of us.
"Timmy, what do you think would be a good prize for learning to keep your underwear dry?" I asked.
"Um ... fruit," Timmy replied.
"Fruit??" I said.
"What kind of fruit?"
"Uh...a humongous pineapple," he said.
"Oooookay," I said. "If you learn to keep your underwear dry, I will buy you a humongous pineapple."
And I did. The next time I went to the store, I purchased the largest pineapple they had. As I pulled up in the driveway, Timmy met me on the porch, asking, "Did you buy my pineapple?"
"I sure did," I said. Then I explained to him that the pineapple was for when he learned to use the potty. I set it on top of the microwave cart where he can easily see it.
Timmy was disappointed. He wanted that pineapple right then. "Can I hold it?" he asked hopefully.
"Not yet," I said.
"Aww," he said sadly, hanging his head.
When it came bedtime, Timmy wanted to know if he could sleep with the pineapple. The next day, he wanted to know if he could take it to church with him. Later on that afternoon, he asked again if he could just hold it. Each time, I reminded him what he has to do to earn the pineapple.
I had been ready to buy him just about anything he could think of, and spend quite a bit of our hard-earned money. But all he asked for was a $1.98 pineapple.
Here's the point: You and I love and serve a God who has promised us incredible things. He's told us He will pour out so many blessings upon us that we won't be able to contain them all. He's said if we ask Him anything in His name, He will do it (not "might")! He's promised us every spiritual blessing (not just "some").
Yet we keep asking for pineapples.
God, please help me get through this day, we pray. That's fine, because we need His help. But what about adding something bigger? What about, God, please bring me through this day victorious!
God, please help me get rid of my cold, we ask. That's fine too, because it is God who heals us, and we should come to Him when we need healing. But if that's as far as we go, we're missing something. How about, God, please bring glory to Yourself through my body, whether in my sickness or in my health.
We pray for a new job, for our children to have friends, or for wisdom to know how to discipline them. All those things are good, right and important. We should pray for them. We're commanded to pray for them. But they're pineapples.
What about asking God for the truly big things? Things like, Oh, God, conform me to the character of Jesus. Or, Father, show me how to decrease so that You can increase. Or even, Oh, God, in Your mercy, grant me the opportunity to display Your glory.
These are the big things. These are the things we could have, if we would only ask. Yet we keep asking for pineapples alone, because we think pineapples are the big things.
What big things does God have in store for you that you could receive if you would only ask?
You'll never find out unless you...ask.
Malachi 3:10—"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive it."
John 14:14—" If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
Ephesians 1:3—"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ."
James 4:2—"You lust and do not have, so you kill. You desire to have and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have, because you do not ask."
Adapted from Megan Breedlove's blog, Manna for Moms. Megan is the author of Well Done, Good and Faithful Mommy and Manna for Moms: God's Provision for Your Hair-Raising, Miracle-Filled Mothering Adventure (Regal Books.) She is also a blogger and a stay-at-home mom with five children.
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