Doing a devo with the kids a few night ago. The lesson was based on Genesis 22 where God tested Abraham by asking him to "Take your son, your only son- yes, Isaac, whom you love so much- and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you." (Genesis 22:2) The story goes on and Abraham was willing and almost sacrificed his son but an angel of the Lord stopped him. (verses 3-13)
The lesson was to "Place a small trash can with a clean liner in a corner of the room. Tell your children to get a favorite toy, then ask them to place it in the trash can. If they protest, ask them whether they trust you and know you love them. Explain that God never intended for Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. (You can return your kids' toys as you say this.) God was testing Abraham's faith. He was also giving Abraham a glimpse of His plan to save humanity: God's only Son would be offered as the sacrifice for our sins. He would have thorns on His head similar to the ram caught by his horns in the thicket."
(For more info on the devo and where it came from visit www.thrivingfamiy.com/advent) I am getting this from YouVersion Bible App.
Here's how it played out when we asked the kids to put their favorite toys, Cooper his Thomas the Train and Chloe her 'dog in a purse' thing, in the trash can.
Matt asked each kid, "Do you trust me?" They emphatically said, "Yes father." The next question Matt posed was, "Do you love me?" With which each child said, "Of course!" Then Matt asked them to put their beloved toys in the trash and they being the God fearing children they are, walked to the trash can, placed their toys in there, looked at us happily, we prayed and they loved the Lord more after that day.
Ok, so that is not entirely true. This might be a more accurate portrayal of how it played out.
They each got their favorite toys, Cooper his Thomas the Train and Chloe her 'dog in a purse' thing. Then Matt asked each kid, "Do you trust me?" While bouncing around and playing with their favorite toys said, "Yeah." The next question was, "Do you love me?" Each giggling said, "Yep." Then Matt asked them to put their toys in the trash can and all Hell broke loose.
Chloe smiled like we were joking, ran to her room and "changed her mind on her favorite toy", Cooper had a melt down and went on and on about how dirty the trash can is even though we reassured him that it was indeed clean.
Matt asked each child personally, "Chloe will you trust me and put your dog in the trash can?" She said no and offered yet another toy from her room. Matt asked Cooper, "Coop, will you put Thomas in the trash can?" His reaction was typical of most kids. He hugged his toys close to his chest and yelled, well screamed, "NOOOOO!!!"
Matt and I looked at each other and gave a "pinch poke you owe me a coke" hmmph.
While the kids were still crying and yelling about how they refused to put their toys in the trash, Cooper more loudly than Chloe, I asked Matt a question, "I wonder if there is anything in our life we are hugging close to our chest with a vice grip, refusing to trust God with like they are with their toys?"
After about 5-10 minutes of asking if they loved and trusted us and getting no where, I got an idea. I walked to the trash can and dropped my phone in it.
The kids looked at me like, "Are you serious?!" I sat down on the couch and told them that I loved their Daddy very much and I trust him with everything. It took a few more minutes of Chloe wondering where the hidden cameras were but she walked over to the can and happily put her 'dog in a purse' in the can. Cooper took a little more talking and some more explaining, but he did it. He didn't know what was going to happen, but he did it.
After a few minutes of making them wait and talking to them about Abraham (G version, leaving out the 'sacrificing his kid' part) and talking about bringing our best to God, we told the kids they could get their toys back. (Bringing our best has been an accidental theme this Christmas, but that's for another post.)
So now I pose the question to you and again to myself, "What in our life are we holding on to, not letting God touch? What are we not willing to place in the trash can?"