My daughter has been sick for a week. She's almost two and communication between us is limited. It is hard to watch this little girl who is usually so full of energy fight to try to play and in some cases just give up. She looks puny. She puts herself down for naps and bed. Her resolve is low. It makes it even harder because she can't tell us how she feels or what's going on.
One of the worst aspects of this sickness is trying to give her medicine. As parents, we know the medicine helps her rest better and helps her little body not feel as bad. As a toddler, she knows the medicine tastes terrible and she's being forced to do something she doesn't want to do. She's sick, tired, and why would she want one more unenjoyable thing forced on her? Taking medicine is a really simple act that leads to a great outcome, but she fights it tooth and nail.
As Christians, we tend to do this too. The God of the universe has given us direct access to Him through Bible reading and prayer. We hear from Him and know Him through reading His word. We get to talk to Him any time, any place, anywhere (In the Old Testament they had to go through a priest!). Yet, we often neglect these spiritual disciplines even though doing these things lead to a great outcome.
The Creator of all things who owns everything and works for the good of those who love Him has said, "Here I am. Tell me about what's on your heart. Ask me for what you need. I'm a good Father." Yet we are content to go about our own business trying to muster up enough strength to get things done ourselves.
My daughter doesn't believe the medicine will help her. She doesn't want it. She doesn't understand. Like her, we haven't truly bought into the idea that knowing God, putting Him first, giving our time to Him is truly beneficial. Martin Luther was one who truly understood this concept. He said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” What a statement! Luther recognized that three hours spent with his Father could do far more for Him than spending those three hours working in his own strength. Luther knew his need for God.
When we start communing with God daily through reading Scripture and prayer we realize how sweet fellowship our Father is. Unlike the bitter medicine my daughter takes, time spent alone with a loving Father is sweet and satisfying. When we first start it takes discipline, but as we grow closer we begin to truly taste and see that the Lord is good.