Monday, November 17, 2014

Mormon Monday: His Hand is Stretched Out Still

Lately, when I've been trying to put Kevin down for a nap, I've had an interesting challenge.

Kevin sometimes will get really, really angry about nap time. When he gets in this mood, he doesn't want to be touched, and he will just stand there and scream and cry.

Interestingly enough, I've found the best way to deal with it, is to lay in his bed with  my arms outstretched toward him. If I try to grab him, it just makes him angrier. However, if I lay there with my arms out, eventually he'll come to me. Once he decides to, he calms right down and goes to sleep.

He's grown so large and independent since then.
This process can take a while sometimes. So, I have a lot of time to think while I'm waiting for him to get over his anger and decide to go to sleep.

As I've laid there with my arms out, a scriptural verse has come to mind. It is found quite frequently in Isaiah, and it reads:
For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
This same phrase is found five times in the Old Testament, and five times in the Book of Mormon when one of the prophets is quoting Isaiah.

The context of the statement is that the chosen people of the Lord are refusing to repent, and so all sorts of terrible things are happening to them as a result. Then, at the end of the verse, the above statement is used.

As Kevin is screaming and angry with me, it is hard to be patient. It is hard to have someone I love so much in obvious distress. However, if I try to force him to take a nap, he just resists more. I know the nap is what he needs and it will make him happy, but I have to wait until he decides he wants it, or my efforts only push him into a further state of anger.

As I've contemplated this, I've realized that this is the way we are to Heavenly Father too.

He wants what's best for us, but He won't force us. He stands there with his arms outstretched toward us, but we have to take the step toward him. Until we decide that we want to follow Christ, we are just going to keep hurting ourselves and causing ourselves spiritual, physical, and emotional pain.

Kevin would be much happier, if he would just take a nap when he is tired, but he is stubborn, and wants to do things his own way. However, when he finally gives in and comes to me, he is relaxed, happy, and comfortable. He obviously likes being held and comforted, but when he is angry, he just wants to be independent.

I am realizing that I am often like that too.

I think I know what I want, and I want to do it the way that I want to do it. However, as I'm learning to walk toward my Savior, I'm finding that doing things His way, is a lot easier and makes me a lot happier. I don't have to waste time screaming and throwing a tantrum. I just have to keep moving toward Him.

Though we may be facing trials, either of our own making or just trials of this life, His hands are stretched out still. He is always waiting for us to come toward him. It's not always easy to take the first step, but when we're finally resting in His embrace, it will be totally worth it.

We just have to throw off our pride and move forward.