05/29/19 Emotions

READING: 1 Kings 21-22, John 7:45-8:20

In some ways, most of us are babies.* Of course, I don’t mean that others must feed us and change our diapers. Nor do I mean that we are brand new believers. Instead, I mean that sometimes even the strongest believers act like babies – especially when they don’t get their way. I wish I could say that I’ve never been in that camp, but that’s not true. I don’t like it, either, when things don’t go my way.

King Ahab exhibited that same kind of spirit with a seeming depth of emotion that is hard to fathom. He asked Naboth to allow him to purchase his vineyard, but when Naboth refused, Ahab “lay down on his bed, turned his face away, and didn’t eat any food” (1 Kings 21:4). Imagine wanting a piece of land so badly that you go into a sulking, self-centered defeat when you could not get it. Think about how much you must’ve wanted it if you could not even eat in your grief! Ahab allowed his desire for the vineyard to so consume him that he could not get out of bed.

It all seems quite strange, actually. The king pouted like an immature child because he could not have somebody else’s vineyard. Selfishness, covetousness, anger, and resentfulness had reduced a king to a bed-ridden recluse who would talk to no one. I find that picture hard to believe . . .  until I think about my own tendency to act that way.  Sometimes, I’m just a baby, too.

In the light of the story of Ahab, I‘ve learned again just how much I need God to change my tendencies, grow me past my immaturity, and grant me wisdom to trust Him fully – even if I don’t always get everything I want.

PRAYER: “Father, help me to continue to grow in my walk, regardless of how old I am.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Kings 1-3, John 8:21-47

*first published in 2017