Every story has conflict, or it isn’t a story at all. There would be no St. George if there had not been a dragon. There would be no prince for Snow White if the witch hadn’t attempted to kill her first. There would be no present for Pooh Bear if there had been no flood to necessitate improvisation.
Conflict is central to every story. Conflict, internal and external, is your chance to obey and glorify God.
There was conflict before the Fall, before sin. The command created the possibility of conflict. The dragon created the temptation. Obedience was the call, though not the reality.
There was conflict after conflict in the life of Jesus. And with each one, He obeyed His Father’s will.
Life is a Story where the question is our obedience to God.
This means that the most important question when something doesn’t go your way is what you yourself are going to do. It’s not about what other people should not have done or should have done or will do or won’t do. Your business is your own response. Will you obey God and evidence fruit of the Spirit or will you pass the blame? Before you worry about making everyone else do what they are supposed to do, make sure you are doing what you are supposed to do.
My son, do not escalate an argument that you should be working out. Do not bring your disagreements disrespectfully if you wish to be heard. Always mind your own responses if someone else’s are bothering you.
Myself, misbehaving children is not an excuse for a misbehaving mother. Kindness, love, self-control: these are the responses you are called to, regardless of the situation.
Life is a Story where the resolution is our glorifying God.
This means that all things work out not only for our good, but – more importantly – for God’s glory. Our obedience can be a part of that resolution, or our disobedience can increase the conflict that will still, eventually, work toward God’s resolution. God is also glorified by bringing down the proud, by making sure sin finds you out, and other consequences He promises. It is preferable to glorify God through obedience than through becoming an object lesson; obedience pleases Him.
My son, if God is gracious to you, He will not let your sin remain hidden. The sooner it is repented of and made right, the better. Do not continue to walk in sins you think no one knows about. They tend to blow up in your face eventually. And blowing up in your face is still better than being allowed to slowly rot.
Myself, if God is gracious to you, He will not let your pride rule. This means you must be ready for humbling moments and humiliating episodes. Better to have pride taken down through small falls than to harden and strengthen your pride and store up a story of a high fall. God gives grace to the humble. Be humble, even with – especially with – the children; they see your weaknesses already anyway.
Life is a Story where the resolution is our enjoying God.
This means that it’s not primarily about our little stories. We enjoy God most when we step outside of concern for our plot lines. Enjoy God by enjoying His Creation, His provisions, His people.
My son, breathe the fresh air, feel the soft dirt, scrape yourself on the tallest tree. Enjoy God as you enjoy His world.
Myself, we enjoy God when we are in fellowship with Him (when we are not trying to hide sins) and in fellowship with others (not harboring resentment & bitterness). If you wish to enjoy God, seek to restore fellowship in your relationships every time it is broken.