Monday, March 06, 2006

We Can Do This the Easy Way Or the Hard Way

I have three kids (ages: six, four-and-a-half and two), and it's sometimes difficult to get everything done that needs to get done. Sometimes kids don't want to cooperate but would rather do things their way -- or not do them at all. Sometimes we need to get the girls in the van so we can go someplace, but they seem to think it's optional. Sometimes we need one of the girls to take medicine, but she doesn't understand that the medicine is mandatory. Tell me we're not the only parents who have trouble getting our kids to do what they have to do.

So, we've adopted a saying around here when we need the girls to participate but they seem unwilling. I say (in my "Daddy" voice), "Girls, we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way. Which do you choose?"

In other words, you will take the medicine. You will get in the van. These things are not open for debate. The only question is how these things will happen. Will they happen with easy cooperation, or is there going to be a struggle and tears and other unpleasant things? We're going to do this. We can do it the easy way or the hard way.

So far, we've only had one girl choose the hard way one time.

God comes to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream and through its interpretation and says, "Nebuchadnezzar, you're going to humble yourself before me. We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way."

Nebuchadnezzar chose the hard way. That's the story of Daniel 4. That's also the story of my life and yours.

See, the Bible promises that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (see Philippians 2). For some, that confession will come as a relief, a statement laced with joy and peace. For others, that confession will come as a realization, a statement laced with regret and fear.

The last sentence in Daniel 4 reminds us: "Those who walk in pride he is able to humble." Your pride will be removed, and you will see just how big God is and, by comparison, how small you are. Your knee will buckle, and your sense of importance will shatter. You will acknowledge God as both the center and circumference of existence. These things will happen. We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way. Which do you choose?