If you’ve met my 4-year-old son, chances are you’ve met his sidekick — Stinky Bunny. That is his official name. Purchased by my sister before Wilder was born, Stinky Bunny is a skinny little once white floppy bunny. He has taken on a gray sort of tone. And despite his name he doesn’t actually stink (most of the time).Wilder developed an attachment to this bunny at an older age than I would have expected and now the bunny often sits in the car and “waits” on him whether my son is in school or we are in a store. He loves to hold him. If I let him the child would never put down the bunny.
And so as we are unloading after a road trip recently he had (of course) that bunny in one hand.
Wilder: I want to help you take out this and this and this and unload the car!
Me: Thank you! This is wonderful. I’m so glad to have a helper.
Wilder then begins to unload oh so slowly one item at a time. Because he had Stinky Bunny in one hand and a Mickey Mouse tucked under his arm.
Me: Um. If you want to help you’re going to have to put the stuff down, bud. You can’t really carry out anything when your hands are already full.
Wilder: But I love my bunny!
Me: You don’t have to put it down forever, dude. Just while you’re unloading. You can’t put anything in hands that are full.
And I could hear my heavenly Father right there in my heart teaching me as I’m trying to teach my child.
What are you holding onto, Amanda?
What has so filled your life, your effort, your heart that there is no room for kingdom work? For my work? What has so consumed your mind or energies that you must crowd me out? Where have you carved away time with me to do something else (even something I told you to do)? What good thing are you holding onto that makes it impossible for you to grab hold of the better thing?
The good. Versus the better.
Me. Versus God.
My plans. Versus His plan.
Messy human. Perfect God.
As women of faith we are tempted in many ways. Some are very clear. Some people call these the big sins. Some call them the mortal sins. It’s easy to see the evil that draws us away from His perfect holy light. But, are we seeing the good that draws us away from the better thing?
There’s nothing wrong with Wilder’s Stinky Bunny (unless is like 10 days since his last washing and then there’s nothing right about that thing). In fact there’s nothing wrong most of the time with him carrying it around. But, there are times he can’t get done what must get done unless he has two hands.
I don’t yet know what the Lord is asking me to lay down. Maybe it’s something that’s coming that He wants me to do that will require I relinquish something else. Something good. Maybe even something He once told me to do.
Every area of life is a season. The truth of God’s word never changes. But, his direction does.
This faith walk is ever changing. The standard of The Lord never changes. And, yet, we are not living out a faith based on rules. We are living out a faith based on relationship.
Without relationship we are nothing. We can follow every rule in the book and avoid every “bad” sin and still be entirely out of God’s perfect will. How?
Because we must do both. As women of faith, as God’s girls, we must never forsake the good thing for the God thing. We must honor the boundaries He sets and seek His voice on every matter not clearly listed in The Word.
And when we hear His voice and don’t do it? It’s as great a sin as any on a bad list.
Spending time with Him and in His word, getting His opinion on the matter (no matter what it is) is the only way to do His will.
Even the most beautiful of rose bushes must be pruned. And there are times in life that we must lay down what was once most important (sometimes forever and sometimes briefly) for what God has next for us.
We must be willing to lay everything down. To open every part of our lives to the Lord. There can be nothing (not even the blessings the Lord Himself gave us) that we aren’t willing to put down to take up whatever He has for us.