“NO! NO!” Her high-pitched staccato was emphasized with the loud thuds of toys and books being thrown across the room.
“I. DO. NOT. WANT. TO. REST!” Her noise was starting to wake her toddler brother. “NO! NO! NO!”
Well, my sweet daughter, I do not want to have to deal with your anti-“rest time” battle every day.
I was emailing one of my dearest friends and really didn’t want to leave MY rest-time freedom to deal with the screamer. Deep breath. Quick, very quick, prayer. Up the stairs. Fighting my anger.
I don’t know why, but defiance pushes my buttons. I’m okay with questions, debates and conflict. A dialogue, even a negative one, can still be a relationship builder. But defiance is a closed-door.
It took all my energy to keep my voice low and steady. She did not like me picking her up. She did not like me taking her to my room. She was a closed-door.
Ten minutes later she was her regular self again. Clear-eyed, joyful and happy to be snuggling in bed. We had talked about how exhausting it is to be defiant. We had talked about the importance of rest. We had talked about how we can miss the beautiful things around us when we’re focused on getting what we want.
Words of wisdom. For a four-year-old and for me.
I understand the turmoil in her heart. I don’t like being forced to do anything. I too want to have control of my days. But wisdom is a guide worth having. It is foolish to battle the schedule God lays out for me.
“Did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They turned stubbornly away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation. They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the law or the messages that the LORD Almighty had sent them by his Spirit.” Zech 7:11-12 (NLT & Message)
Defiance is a terrible waste of time. Thank you, sweet daughter, for walking your life so transparently so I get to seek God for wisdom for you and for me.
I’m thinking now about turning from defiance. Relaxing my jaw and purposefully having my ears open to hear God. To throw my whole heart into embracing the revelation of God. To intentionally till my heart so it is soft. To daily choose to hear the law and study the messages of the Lord Almighty. I do not want to miss out on the beautiful things God is filling my days with. I do not want to be obsessed with my agenda. My agenda is short-sighted and so little. Why would I want my ways when I can have His Ways?
I looked up antonyms for defiance. I am unimpressed. There is no word in the list that describes the passion it takes to be the opposite of defiant! I am not acquiescent. I am not passively submitting.
I hereby motion to redefine the opposite of defiance to be something like “the zealous pursuit of humility in the service of the most high God.”
A little dramatic? Yes. I am. A little dramatic. I also am a defiance addict who is, each day it seems, learning the beauty of Trusting God more and more.
How is your journey? What is God speaking to you today?
Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are: Psalm 99, 100, 101; Acts 7:44-59
The verses that stood out to me today are: “I will lead a life of integrity in my own home” Psalm 101:2 // Relationship with God extends to all corners of life.