Penguins and Pianos

4 May

This is my favorite toy!

No, not for me, for Amanda! It’s a world of fun all in one corner, with the potential for keeping any child occupied for hours on end. At least that’s the way I see it.

Well, Amanda didn’t share my enthusiasm. Exhausted from carrying her while trying to tidy up around the house, I placed her amongst the penguin, piano and lion, confident that it would give me at least 15 minutes to let my arms rest. She looked up at me, let out a loud scream, and stretched out her arms in a desperate attempt to be rescued from this apparent “chamber of torture”.  Her actions were screaming “No, don’t leave me here! There’s nothing for me here! This isn’t what I want right now! Can’t you see I need more than this?”

Clearly she wasn’t seeing things from my end….maybe she just needed a little coaching. So I sat down next to her and started playing the piano. She looked at me wide eyed “Oooohh,, I didn’t know it could do that.” I pressed the little penguin’s head down and she marvelled at the sounds that he made. I placed my hand on the lion and pretended he was playing the drums…she looked at me as though I were her hero.  With patient encouragement and guidance, she began to embrace her toy for what it really was…exactly what she needed.

At the risk of spiritualizing something that is seemingly insignificant, can you see the connection to our relationship with God?

Too often, sitting at His word, my heart struggles to find enjoyment and satisfaction. In utter foolishness I entertain thoughts that say “I just can’t find anything in here that applies to me today.  This isn’t what I want right now.  I need something else.”  Yet when I turn to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance, He brings the words of scripture to life, opens the eyes of my heart to see the unmatched importance, meaning and relevance of the words before me.

Looking at our lives in comparison to those around us, we may be tempted to think “Lord, I don’t have what I want. How can I be satisfied be here? Why aren’t you giving me what I know I need to be happy?” It isn’t until the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see our circumstances for what they are…sovereignly ordained by His perfect will that our perspective can change. He shows us the blessings He has bestowed on us, helps us accept the difficulties He has allowed, and equips us to be content.

Going about our day we may struggle to see opportunities to serve the Lord. We may resolve to witness to His name, meet the needs of others, show His love in difficult circumstances.  And yet at the end of the day we may find ourselves thinking   “Guess the opportunities weren’t there today.  Maybe tomorrow He’ll bring more my way.” But when we turn to the Spirit for guidance, He opens our eyes to the many  opportunities to demonstrate His love and compassion to the world. Opportunities that our own flesh could not detect were it not for the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

“But the Helper, the Holy spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things I said to you.” John 14:26

There’s something else I realized as I sat on the floor next to Amanda. It was not so much the piano she was enjoying, but the expression on my face as the music played. It’s not the penguin she was enthralled with, but the joy she had from sitting next to me while we played together. It was our time together, and not just the toy itself that shifted her perspective, brought her joy, gave her delight. So it is when we look to the help of the Spirit. He opens our eyes to recognize the presence of God, so that wherever we are, we may find true satisfaction, because we are with the Lord.

“And I will pray to the Father and he will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16

As with any metaphor, the comparison falls short in many ways. I’ll point out just a few. Left to herself, Amanda would eventually figure out the joy of the toys surrounding her. Not so with us…the ministry of the Spirit is not just helpful, it is essential.  Eventually I will get tired, and I’ll need to leave her with her toy so she can carry on by herself. Not so with God’s Spirit.  He doesn’t start us off and then leave us to continue on our own. No, we need Him continually, moment by moment.  And unlike Amanda who will eventually need to learn independence,  the Spirit will never leave us! As believers we are SEALED with the indwelling Spirit…He is our DEPOSIT guaranteeing what is to come!

Circumstances, from our point of view are so different from God’s perspective. Without the Holy Spirit we can never understand His Word and the riches it contains for our heart, never recognize His providential care in our circumstances, never see the opportunities for service He is continually bringing our way. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us comfort and makes us aware of the presence of God in our lives.

Oh how we desperately need the ministering of God’s Spirit in our lives.

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession,, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14

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One Response to “Penguins and Pianos”

  1. Jane K May 5, 2012 at 7:26 AM #

    I like this. We learn so much about our relationship with God from being with children.

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