Every day it’s the same. My son (one-and-a-half-years-old) wakes up from his nap, I get him up, put him in his high chair and then turn my back to get him his lunch. It takes me less than 10 seconds to pull the food out of the fridge and probably another 20 seconds for his food to be microwaved. In the end he has his food in front of him, ready to be consumed, in about 30 seconds.
And I can guarantee that those 30 seconds will be full of complaining and gnashing of teeth. Sometimes it’s crying, sometimes it’s banging his hands violently on the high chair tray, and most often it’s an endearing combination of both. Some days I am able to ignore his complaining, but most days it frustrates me to no end.
One day a couple of months ago I got down on his level and said, “Has there ever been a day when I have not given you lunch? Has there been a day where I have delayed giving you lunch by hours just for fun? Have I ever eaten the food from the microwave instead of giving it to you? No! No! No! You have to wait 30 seconds for your food because I am making it better for you! I don’t have to microwave your rotini, but I do it because it makes it taste better and I want the best for you, my son!” (Yes, I realize he understood very little of that rant and yes, it was still completely worth it for me to express my feelings!)
On the day that I gave him this lecture, something hit me (and it’s taken me months to really start to understand the significance of what hit me). God suddenly made it clear to me that I am no different than my son. The way that my son acts towards me in this moment is exactly the same way I treat God. Even though I know His character. Even though I know He is a loving father. Even though I know He sacrificed His only Son because He loves me.
For those of you who don’t know, since December I have been dealing with the affects of Graves Disease (autoimmune disease that effects your thyroid). My life as I know it has been put on hold for months. It has been extremely difficult to be a mom, wife, friend, and functioning human being. And it’s made me have to wait for things that my heart desperately wants. It isn’t a matter of trying harder or pulling my boots up higher (because trust me, I’m good at trying those tactics). I simply have to wait. And at first I threw fits (mostly figuratively) because it hurt my heart…it was confusing…and it made me sad.
A couple of months ago, however, God got down on my level and gently whispered, “Has there been a time when I haven’t provided? Has your plan ever been better than mine? Has my grace ever not been sufficient for you? You’re waiting right now because I’m making it better for you! I have the power to heal you, but that’s not the point. I want bigger things for you than just a healthy body. I want you to learn patience, to understand my character and to trust in my unfailing love. I want you to run to me with your raw emotions. I want you to see my hand in the good and the hard. Let me provide for you. I am not turning my back on you. I am taking the time it takes to make things better.”
The main reason my heart was hurting so bad was that I was not completely trusting in who God was. He is a good, good Father (to quote an okay praise song). And good Fathers don’t allow suffering for any reason other than for good. I have always known this in my head to be true, but sometimes suffering shines a light on what you fully trust with your heart and what you simply know in your mind.
So friends, if you are hurting or waiting (or hurting because you’re waiting), I encourage you to not let your faith be stagnant through it all. Dig deep into your heart and into the scriptures. Be real with God. Ask Him the hard questions, but always expect Him to answer. He already knows your heart (He made it), so don’t be ashamed to be honest. And if you don’t have the strength (emotional or physical) to do that, then consider asking a friend to pray that God would reveal Himself to you. If you ask, He will answer!