Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Need to Know

There has been a parenting technique my wife and I have learned that has revolutionized our family. If I thought I could write an entire book on the topic, plus do a book tour and somehow turn it all into a movie where I would be played by Matt Damon, I would. Quite simply, the movie would be awesome.
Damn skippy.
However, this technique has probably been written about by too many authors, none of them convinced about the movie project that could be. And the technique doesn't sound all that flashy either.

Communication.

I know, you've heard this before. But this is like a wonder drug that cures all...almost. My family, like all families, has experienced those meltdown moments when the kids are sweaty and whiny and, shockingly, don't want to be shopping at Wal-mart. Amidst the crying, I'll hear, 'We didn't know we were going to be shopping all afternoon.'

Ah, communication. So now we warn them when we see a shopping trip looming. Do they like the shopping anymore when they are warned? No, but at least they know and can brace themselves for what is coming. They've been told and warned and at least know what's coming.

I think most people are like this. We can handle a lot. We can prepare for adversity if we see it coming. We can adjust to suffering if we know it is in the plans.

But adventures do not always announce themselves. We're not always told why certain events in life happen. In fact, it is very often the opposite. Oftentimes we are left in the dark. And we see this in history as well. In fact, we see this with often maligned group of whiners known as God's chosen nation, the Israelites.

In Exodus 14:15-31 we find them trapped at the Red Sea. The Egyptians are coming and the Israelites didn't pack their boats. God instructs them to cross on dry ground. God then says He will harden the hearts of the Egyptians and they will follow. But God doesn't give any more detail than that. He doesn't say how rescue will come. It's only after a long night of crossing the Red Sea that God reveals the rest of the plan.

They should have had plenty of questions. How is the Red Sea going to be dry ground? If it is dry ground, will it be soon enough for us to get away from Pharaoh? If there is dry ground, what's keeping the enemy from chasing us?

They don't get any answers. They are told to move on. But no explanation is given until after they have crossed over and the Egyptians are still on the chase.

But they obey, a pattern that never quite became a habit for them. A pattern that we would be wise to consider. If we live life ona  need-to-know basis, then we should understand that God is the only One who needs to know.

God took care of those Egyptians, leaving them drowning in the Red Sea. You can be sure that, sooner or later, God will take care of our problems as well.

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