Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Break Out – Day 12

Break out and choose “the toy duck”

Bible text(s)

22Samuel said, “Which does the LORD prefer: obedience or offerings and sacrifices? It is better to obey him than to sacrifice the best sheep to him.

1 Samuel 15:22GNBOpen in Bible reader

16So they began to persecute Jesus, because he had done this healing on a Sabbath.

8“My thoughts,” says the LORD, “are not like yours,

and my ways are different from yours.

9As high as the heavens are above the earth,

so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.

Isaiah 55:8-9GNBOpen in Bible reader

A toilet paper roll or a brand new toy duck? That was my daughter Joalé’s choice one night during bath time, when she was 11 months old.

Joalé was in her discovery phase and for some reason, she developed a fascination with a toilet paper roll. As soon as she discovered one, she would put it in her mouth – to my dismay! That night, when I got to the bathroom after fetching a towel, I found my daughter with a broad, satisfied smile and half of a toilet paper roll in her hand.

Despite all my efforts to take it from her and focus her attention on the new, brightly coloured toy duck, I failed. She wanted the toilet paper roll! In the end (to stop the tears), I was forced to put her into the bath – with the toilet paper roll.

As I later stood watching her play with the disgusting wet toilet paper roll, while the brand new bath toy floated on the water, it hit me: We often do exactly the same in our spiritual life. We pray for a response to a challenging situation. Although God answers us, we fail to see it, due to our focus on our preconceived idea of how he is “supposed” to answer us. Or we fall in the trap of focusing on the past and miss what God wants to do in the present.

God, however, works in ways beyond our frame of reference – and we need to be open for it. Think about Moses having to touch the water of the Red Sea in order to create a path through the sea; Joshua and the Israelites having to walk seven times around Jericho before blowing the trumpets and seeing the city’s walls collapse; or Jesus mixing mud and spit, putting it on a blind man’s eyes and telling him to go and wash it off. The blind man did as Jesus told him and he was instantly healed. And because Moses, Joshua and Jesus were obedient to God, they experienced his power.

For us to experience God’s power in our lives, we too need to be obedient and trust that he always knows best. In 1 Samuel 15:22 we read: “Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” In John 5:16 Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” And in Isaiah 55:8-9, God says: “ ‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’ ” Are you obeying God, trusting him for his best?

I am sure if my daughter looked away from the toilet paper roll for a moment, she would have discovered that the toy duck was much better for the bath environment. And if she was able to speak, she might just have asked me to remove the disgusting, wet, loose pieces of toilet paper floating in the water due to her choice of the toilet paper roll. What is floating around in your life? Do not be so blinded by the toilet paper roll that you miss God’s “bright bath toy duck” for your situation! God bless.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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