and we are all just children. the all of us here.
yes, there’s a reason we’re not called God’s “adult-children.” and having children of your very own will teach that better than any writings or vocalizing on the subject.
because when those days come we get to hear God’s words through our mouths and watch our reactions in the faces of our children.
we question their refusals and rebuttals.
their disobedient acts and their flagrant disregard.
their wandering hearts and their fickle emotions.
we see it all.
i see it all.
i feel the hurt of it and the anguish. the desperation to get them to understand that what i ask of them is ultimately for. their. good.
they don’t see the tomorrow that we see. a day filled with adventures and plans – which in turn requires a good rest the day prior in order to enjoy the activities of the next to their fullest.
and there is no reasoning with a toddler.
we are asking them for something that is severely precious. anguishing to relinquish. and guarded ferociously.
i am honestly not quite sure why we haven’t obtained it yet.
you’d think after all of the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes… the stroking of sick backs… the cleaning of sheets and clothes… and the fact that no matter how long it takes to get a meal made, they will still get fed… that we would have earned the right to be trusted by our children on all accounts.
despite all of the provisions and all of the gifting. there is a lack of trust.
of complete trust.
and the belief that the child’s way will yield the best results. better than those of the parent. yes, that.
you’ve seen a tired child. i’ve seen a tired child. that middle of the day meltdown where it’s so ridiculously obvious that poor kid is exhausted out of its mind- trying to control the laughter- while at the same time running down how to actually convince that child of the fact. you as the parent, or caretaker, or just keen adult observer, know this child’s needs.
most children don’t think they need sleep though. most fight it. i have one who viciously fights it.
i’m talking this kid gave up morning naps when he started to crawl. at five months.
he gave up afternoon naps when he started to walk. at eleven months.
and we did cry it out. sleeping in bed with me for nap-time. you name it, i most likely tried it.
he would scream for fifteen minutes. pause for one. then scream for fifteen more. and repeat.
for over an hour.
he probably could have gone longer. but i couldn’t.
there’s no reasoning with a baby. or a toddler. my kids aren’t at the other ages yet. but i don’t hold out much hope. because when i reflect back at my own actions with my own Heavenly Father, how much worse am i than them?
because i can understand not fully trusting another fallible human being.
but the Creator of the Universe? the One knitting together of DNA into marvels? miracles and life abounding from His touch? and my very breath evidence of His very Grace? what is the reason for not putting my trust wholly in Him and His Holiness?
why haven’t i been able to teach my heart that the more i seek the Joy in Christ, the more i will be in-Joy. en-joy my life. my children. this grace gift given at highest cost?
mirroring my attitude of child to the King back in my mind- i see all too well the screaming for my longings and fleeting desires. all the while He stands bent over stove and agonizing over what He is making for my life to become.
with calm voice and gentle hand, He repeats to me, “I am working all these things together for your good. for My purpose.” (Romans 8:28 paraphrased)
we teach our children to ride a bike with training wheels. looking to the day when the training wheels come off and the child flies off on two wheels and a grande feat accomplished.
one of the firsts.
and not the lasts.
us parents are already looking to the next.
we labor over the learning of letters and numbers. singing alphabets and counting to ten… so they can write their names and count their ages. for starters.
why then do we not believe that Christ is working in us? that every refining moment has a purpose- equipping us- readying us- for when we need those tools we will also need to know how to use them.
that is what this life is.
all moments that lead to deeper and more. all purposed and planned. diligently. intricately.
and we are meant to enjoy it all.
trusting in Him. naming the grace-gift of this life. and its moments.
even when our children are red-faced and refusing to rest their weary selves. even those moments can be a refining fire.
so may i encourage you as i remind myself- to not miss the opportunity to be refined. it may not be what you are wanting. but it may be what you are needing.
(a good way to tell when you are in the midst of this? when you feel like throwing a tantrum yourself. generally that means you are being told to obey a Father who isn’t acquiescing to your requests. and instead insisting that He knows what is for your best. And isn’t that just so incredibly good? Hard, yes. but GOOD.)