by Jenny Harrison
“Time for dinner,” I announced one evening as our family was settling in after a long day. My two-year-old son enthusiastically ran to the table, licking his lips until he saw IT on his plate—broccoli!
He closed his eyes, wrinkled his nose, shook his head, and said, “I can’t want it.”
I tried to persuade my son by stating, “I bet if you try it you will like it.” He looked at me and let me know with certainty, “I can’t want to like it.”
The phrase my son coined is a classic, and there are members of my family who use it today to communicate our feelings about undesirable events or situations in our lives.
I must admit that I am not one who is always thrilled with the unknown or unfamiliar. Maybe some of you struggle with this as well.
In Psalms, we get a glimpse of the difficulty of the situation at hand. The writer must have been one who experienced captivity in Babylon following the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem. We put away our harps, hanging them on the branches of poplar trees. For our captors demanded a song from us. Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn:
“Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!” But how can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a pagan land?
Psalm 137:1-4 (NLT)
As I read this passage, I can hear the desperation and the homesickness. I can envision myself by the river crying my eyes out, pleading to God. “Lord I did not ask for this, I can’t want this and I can’t want to like it! I want to go home! You are God and you could easily lift me up and plant me right back at the farm where I belong.”
But God never left the side of his people and kept his promise to allow them to go back to their homeland again. In the meantime, the Jewish people did learn to sing in a foreign land just as I have learned to not only adjust but find peace and joy in painful times and in unfamiliar territory.
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT)
This is a promise I can want, trusting with confidence that the Lord is always with me, no matter what comes my way.
Copyright © 2012, Jenny Harrison, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from NLT.
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