One time I was babysitting for a family in our church and had an interesting experience with then two year-old Claire. The parents were ready to go out for the evening, but before leaving, Sarah (the mother) gave each of the three children a plate with their dinner. Claire immediately ate all her apples. Then I heard Sarah say, “That’s a really good start. Be sure to eat the rest.” That should have been a sign of things to come…
Claire had some chicken and stuffing on her plate, so I thought I’d encourage her along. I proceeded to help her get a bite of the stuffing in her mouth. And there it stayed. There was no way she was going to swallow that stuffing. I tried everything….drink some water to help it go down, no dessert if you don’t finish—none of my tricks were working and Claire would not budge.
Unfortunately for her, I’d been trained by the best when it comes to strong-willed children. I imagined my little Josiah in earlier years. So I let her sit there while I played games with her older sister and brother, assuring her that as soon as she ate, she could join us. Nothing doing. She wasn’t bratty, just determined.
For one and a half hours she sat there with a gob of stuffing in her mouth. Finally, when I told her she would have to go to bed (and miss the video) she broke through and swallowed! We cheered as she finished the stuffing and ate all her chicken. I thought she’d probably never want me to baby-sit again, but as I tucked her in bed later that night, with a big smile on her face she whispered, “I love you.”
Sometimes God puts us in a situation that is “hard to swallow.” We know we can’t spit it out, but we don’t want to eat, so like Claire we attempt to hold it in our mouths, refusing to let go. May I encourage you today not to “wallow” but to “swallow.”
Trust God for the good he intends to bring from your hard place.