Not So Empty Nest Days

Cherishing the days past while moving towards the days ahead, BHG

I Know!

on January 19, 2013

 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.” – Hosea 4:6

 In today’s age, people are destroyed, or die, for lack of many things. Poverty brings along with it lack water, food, shelter, etc. People have been known to die in freezing weather because of a lack of shelter or the lack of warm clothing. In smoldering heat, people die from a lack of shelter, water and relief from the heat or air. People all over the nations are dying from a lack of food supply, or famine, and medical attention. Even here in the United States famine is greater than we would like to acknowledge. But the one thing we don’t here of as much is people dying from a lack of knowledge. The sad thing is, most of the lacks I named above, are hosted from a lack of knowledge. The knowledge that they can reach out for help to get food and water, a runner may die of heat exhaustion because of the lack of knowledge to drink plenty of water and seek shelter when overheated. That’s what we even sometimes do in our spiritual walk.

About a decade or more ago, there was a flood of stories in the news about children who had drowned in their own backyards. These seemingly innocent children were wandering out of their houses to go into their fenced in backyards, all safe, to gaze and even play in the pools that their families owned. Knowing how a pool can look when it’s ridiculously hot outside, I’m sure these toddlers and preschoolers only wanted to play in the water like they do in the bath tub, some out of curiosity and some out of relief. But somewhere between getting the latch to the back door open to walking outside alone to being hypnotized by the blue crystal like waves in the water or dropping a toy in the water, they reached in and stretched too far which allowed for them to fall in. Some screams were heard but for the most part they went unheard, being muffled by the overpowering water that seemed to rush over them. Now, I am going to be honest, in my lost state of mind, rushes of judgment came over me as I heard story after story. The questions, I’m sure not just from my mind, of “How could you let this happen?” and, “Where were you that you couldn’t hear your child drowning?” and even, “What kind of parent leaves their child unattended?” rang not only at the TV but also landing in each parents ears. What stemmed from that was a slew of safety devices and pool lock up systems but the most important thing, in my opinion, were the teachings of pool safety. We became aware of dangerous possibilities and even though most would tear up their pools and lock up their kids or chain them to their sides; this wasn’t how to keep them safe. I now know that the lessons, giving them the knowledge is what would.

We all teach our kids safety rules, even in their infancy stage. The word no, even though there was a period when that was said to be wrong, came out of each of our mouths when we saw our newly cruising or newly crawling baby reach for a certain danger. It didn’t stop there. We would then tell them “no” when they would put things into their mouths, try to pull things down from our tables via their new best friends, the table covers and when they were old enough to explore outside even be a few feet away, “stranger danger” was a lesson they were taught. Now none of these lessons were fool proof. Things still happened, accidents and mishaps still occurred, sadly there were children still abducted. But it wasn’t because of our lack of knowledge. And I am convinced that of all the things we could ever pour into, teach, or give our kids, knowledge is the most important. We give them knowledge of God, our love for them, etc. We are most certainly their first teachers and what we give them will stick like a steak and potato meal.

My youngest daughter, who is now 15 going on 35, has always been a little quick with her reach, not always paying attention to what she is reaching over or for. I remember one particular time when she was about 7, she was helping me in the kitchen, she was in love with Rachel Ray and had to make sure I was doing things right and reached over the front burner to grab something. Did I say this child is over-adventurous?! I immediately grabbed her little hand and told her sharply, but lovingly, “Naria don’t reach over the stove like that. Ask for help. You need to pay attention to what you are doing. You could have gotten burned.” I then kissed her, when what I really wanted was to strangle her precious little neck for the near heart attack she about gave me, and told her as she got older, she would be able to reach on her own without the danger of getting burned. Oh why did I say that to her? Did I also mention she is my child that must prove what I say wrong, every time? Time passed and maybe a year later, I was playing with her and noticed a dark mark on her elbow, the same arm that she had reached with. “Mama (my nickname for her), what is this,” I asked. “Oh that is a burn I got when I reached over the stove one time. See I was trying to get the salt (another killer in our family) and I didn’t know the stove was on.” I was flushed with guilt (where was I), anger (didn’t I already tell this child not to do that), and sympathy that she had to dress her own wound with no kiss or love from her mommy (even though that was because she had deliberately disobeyed me). I gave her a hug and told her I have rules to keep her safe and that I was sorry she had to be in pain by herself but to never do that again.

Isn’t that what God does with us His children? He lovingly teaches us, gives us a Book of instructions in black and white for us to read yet we still don’t have knowledge of Him. Wow! That reminds me, a writer once wrote an article for a prestigious newspaper concerning black people, “If you want to keep something from them, put it in a book.” That is profound, so profound that even though he WROTE that and it was published, circulated and even spread through email and other social networks, blacks STILL don’t have knowledge or even know that we can receive it. God wants us to have a full knowledge of Him. He wants us to have wisdom and clarity, read James 1:5 if you don’t believe me or Proverbs is filled with places where through Solomon, God is saying receive His wisdom and the knowledge of Him. Pray and ask Him to give you that today. Don’t perish another day because of your lack of knowledge. I have learned that it is not what you know, but Who.

Father, thank You for Your wisdom You love to bestow on us. Thank you that Your mercy is new every morning and we can start over seeking Your wisdom and the knowledge of Who You are again. Show us Your face, Lord in the midst of who we are. Give us that healthy fear of You and the wisdom and knowledge that comes along with it. In Jesus name. Amen!

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