Last year, we moved to "the country", just outside of town. Embracing country life, we did what any aspiring Gen X country-folk would do - and tried to plant a garden...only in the early fall. So our garden saw mild success at best.
This year, it's game on: we've tilled, we have compost ready, seeds are good to go, drip irrigation, the works. I can already tell our thumbs are getting green at the mere thought of the bounty that will ensue this year (ha ha!).
As I was out putting together the drip irrigation system the other week, my 6-year-old daughter came skipping up and asked if she could help with anything. "Sure. Can you go in the house and bring Daddy some scissors from the drawer?"
Now, I know what you're thinking..."you asked your 6-year-old to do what!?!?"
Yes, that's right. To get the super duper, extra sharp scissors and bring them to me. But I had no worries.
Because my wife and I have trained her how to hold them and behave when holding them. Even if she trips and falls, she'll be holding them in a manner where she won't be injured.
Sure enough, she came walking up holding the scissors exactly how we've trained her. Safe and sound.
She proceeded to help me with a few other little things and went on her way shortly there-after.
As I continued to work, I felt the Lord bring to mind the old joke of "running with scissors" (meaning: "is irresponsible and not safe"). As I chuckled about how I've jokingly used that line that over the years, the Lord gently whispered to me: "How often have you (emotionally) run with scissors?"
Wow...busted. Talk about being stopped in my tracks.
Immediately, my mind was flooded with past moments of where I had (emotionally) "run with scissors" with my wife and kids. My responses meant to gouge. My sarcasm meant to cut. My intentional silence meant to hurt.
Then my thoughts turned to times when I remember my kids doing the exact same thing...obviously, things they'd learned from me or heard me say and then acted out in similar situations.
The conviction washed over me and the prayers flowed out.....
"Oh, Lord. Help me. Help me to grow up in how I handle anger, disappointment, and frustrations. Thank you for the victories I've had. Continue to teach me to handle these (emotional) scissors so my kids will also know how to handle them."
My mind turned to the passage in Hebrews 12:10-11 that says, "...He disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."
And the words came, "be patient in affliction...be slow to anger...be quick to respond with kindness..."
These are things the Spirit of God wanted to do deep within if I'd just let Him...the 'fruit of the Spirit' would bloom if I'd let it take root.
I could feel things shifting deep inside my soul...
I could feel the genuine love and forgiveness of The Father...
I could feel my heart softening and had a growing awareness of my family’s emotional needs...
I felt the strength from past victories cementing in...
Ah, so this is how I "hold the scissors (emotionally), Lord...thank you."
How about you, Dad? Can you relate? Take 5 minutes - ask the Lord to show you where you "run with scissors" with others.
Ask Him to meet you in those places you're aware of that need "tweaking."
Ask Him for healing and for help and to teach you how to correctly "hold the (emotional) scissors."