by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
I try to be present at my children’s bedtime as often as I can, and create some quality moments with each child, “tucking them in.” As both children enjoy reading, it’s convenient to use books as a medium for conversation. As my daughter enters her teenage years, I have experimented with compensating her for reading books of my choosing. Of course to receive her earnings, she must also provide regular updates of what she is reading and learning. While perhaps contrived, it has opened a pathway of dialogue that otherwise might have simply remained wishful thinking.
My son and I have been reading through “The Action Bible” at bedtime. With its fast-paced “comic book” style and impressive illustrations, this is something we both look forward to each night. Most recently in our reading, God had just handed down the 10 Commandments to Moses. As God met with Moses on Mt. Sinai, his instructions to the people of Israel were to not touch the mountain or they would die. My son asked, “Did anybody die because they got too close to the mountain?” I quickly responded that of course nobody died from getting too close to the mountain. Who would have dared to touch the mountain! My son countered, “But there’s always someone who ‘touches the mountain’. Like the woman who couldn’t help but look back at Sodom and became a pillar of salt!” My son may also have been thinking of other notable characters of the Bible who couldn’t help but test God, such as Adam & Eve, Jonah, and Gideon. While the Bible doesn’t say anybody died from touching the mountain, it certainly was in the nature of the Israelites at times to test God. Why does humankind have the temptation to test God?
I think of the Psalmist who wrote, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (37:4). What grabs our attention with this verse? The delight from walking with the Lord, or having the desires of our heart fully realized? And what if those desires aren’t met? Do we no longer delight ourselves in the Lord? Perhaps we test God because we do not have His desires in our heart.
Instead of looking to God to fulfill our desires, we should look to God to give us His desires. Maybe the Psalmist is not speaking about a promise for God to give us what we want, but a promise to simply give us His desires. And what does God desire? He desires every man, every woman, every boy, and every girl to know God and confess He is Lord; for every soul to be redeemed here and now and to live a life marching toward the delight of eternity with Him. Having a desire to delight in the Lord is a self-fulfilling prophecy. One will always lead to the other. As you “tuck in” your kids each night, may His desires be your delight.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent