Take it Off

“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” –Isaiah 43:18-19, NLT
 
At lunch yesterday, I shared with friends a common scenario. We all giggled when we talked about it, because we’ve all seen a little one do it. 
 
It goes something like this. Your preschooler is going through his independent stage, and wants to dress himself. Sighing with exhaustion—because it would be so much easier if he would just wear what you laid out on the bed—you let him win this battle. Because you know this mom has already won the war, even if he doesn’t.
 
You turn your back for a moment, or you step into the next room to check on something else. Then you hear the cries. You hear the frustration. Surely, he can’t be upset because, “there’s nothing to wear.” He’s not old enough for that, and men don’t ever ask that question anyway. Do they?
 
You poke your head back into the room to see why he is so upset, and then you cup your hand over your mouth, so the laugh doesn’t escape—or be heard.
 
He’s struggling, because he dug through the drawers until he found the shirt that you meant to toss in the donation box months ago because it is just too small. You see that his head is caught in the neckline, and he’s determined to pull it on over his head, and rock that 3T size tee. But he can’t. And worse yet, he’s not able to see because the shirt is covering his eyes just enough to block out any clear vision. His head starts shaking, much like a wet dog does when she comes out of the mud, and for a second you’re thankful that this shaking is not sending sprays of water droplets and every germ known to humankind all over the room.
 
Composing yourself enough to help, you calmly walk over to him, and yank the shirt off his head. He can breathe again. He can see. There’s tears, but he’s making an instant recovery like most preschoolers do. Straightening his hair, you give him a kiss and help him put on the shirt you set out, explaining that he’s a big boy now, and he doesn’t really want to wear that baby shirt, does he? Seeing the logic—and the comfort—of taking off the wrong size, and putting on the right fit, he finally sighs and you can see agreement in his four-year-old eyes.
 
But as he runs out to play and you toss the old shirt in the donation box, you wonder how many things you should take off, toss out, admit that you’ve outgrown.
 
God challenges us to look at those things. But there are times when we act just like a preschooler, and insist on squeezing into that old shirt, and we’re going to keep wearing it. We’re going to stay in that job. We’re not going to step aside and hand that ministry over. We’re going to rock it. Even if it’s three sizes too small, even if what we’re doing isn’t speaking to others or meeting needs, even if we’re not flourishing in that job—and even if it’s clearly not the right fit. Because it’s familiar, and we know it. We don’t want to risk trying on that new shirt. That won’t ever work, anyway. Will it?
 
And God just stands there. I imagine He’s probably chuckled, too…thinking, “Oh precious girl, just take it off already. I have a better one, and it’s the right fit. Trust Me. You’ll see.”
 
Will He see agreement in your heart?