Daily Devotion for March 21, 2017

'Cupcake Catastrophe, Discarded Instructions...'

Psalm 50:17 NIV
You hate My instruction and cast My words behind you.

Nehemiah 9:26a
But they were disobedient and rebelled against You; they put Your law behind their backs....

Funny story, but it wasn't funny yesterday morning...

My youngest three are taking a cake-decorating class at their school on Mondays (in Modesto), so last Sunday we spent the majority of our afternoon making 3 dozen cupcakes and a batch of homemade frosting. Monday morning rolled around, and as I rushed to collect all the decorating gear for the class, I instructed the kids to put their cupcakes (still in the baking tins) on the floor in the back of our van. When the oldest of the three came back, he proudly reported he had “stacked all the cupcakes neatly in the cooler.”

“That's not what I told you to do, honey,” I replied, while quickly making sure I had all the icing tips, bags, couplers, and icing spatulas. “You can't stack cupcakes. They are not stack-able items. Place them on the floor in the back of the van, like I said.” My oldest didn't respond to my words of instruction, however. He just stood there, and then he started to walk the wrong direction. Adding “fear-of-mom” strength to my words, I called out, “GO NOW AND PUT THE CUPCAKES ON THE FLOOR OF THE VAN, and GET IN THE CAR!” He rolled his eyes, huffed, changed directions, and went out the front door...

About 4 minutes later I joined my kids. I fired up my “beast” and we roared out of our street (we were running a bit late). As I made our first turn, one of the kids screamed, “CATCH THE CUPCAKES!” I glanced back just in time to see one of the cupcake tins slide off the SEAT of the van. To my horror, six beautiful cupcakes gracefully tumbled across the van's filthy floor...

After pulling over, I turned to my eldest and asked, “What did I tell you to do with the cupcakes?” There was no response. I couldn't believe he had so blatantly “ cast (my) words behind” him! I then explained (to all!) the reason behind my instructions (to keep the cupcakes from falling!). As we relocated the remaining muffins to the floor of the van, I also explained something else: “Guys, you may not always understand why I give you certain instructions, but there is purpose behind my instructions...
1) to HELP you, not harm you,
2) to ensure SUCCESS, and help prevent pain, humiliation, suffering, and failure,
3) to keep you going the RIGHT, protected, direction, so you can be blessed by me as you obey”...

The rest of the day, I couldn't help but think how God's instructions are so much BETTER than my own instructions. His Instructions always have purpose: 1) to HELP us, not harm us, 2) to ensure SUCCESS, and help prevent pain, humiliation, suffering, and failure, and 3) to keep us going the RIGHT, protected direction, so we can be be blessed by God as we obey and glorify Him. This is true whether or not we understand the “why's, and it's true whether or not we agree with them. We Believers forget that sometimes. So often we ignore and “cast (His) words behind” us, putting His “law behind (our) backs” so we can foolishly pursue and do as we please...

Heavenly Father, thank you for being such a GOOD, GOOD Father! Thank you for being so patient with us when we choose (like my child did!) to “cast (Your) words behind” us and “put (Your) law behind (our) backs!” Though we may not understand the “why's,” help us know Your Instructions are for our GOOD, and give us right desire to OBEY them! Moreover, we ask You to use Your Spirit and Word to guide us each day, so we don't hate Your discipline, so we don't spurn Your correction, so we obey Your Son as our Teacher, and so we listen to His instructions and apply them...because they are for our good and Your GLORY! We ask this for ourselves and for our loved ones, Father, so we don't “come to the brink of utter ruin” on account of our own foolish choices (Proverbs 5:11-14)...

In Your Son's name, Lord, for Your glory and our best good, we ask You help us no longer cast Your “words behind” us...

AMEN!!!

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