Yesterday my daughter wanted to refuse her nap; a nap which her refusal made her need for it that much more evident. She was so mad at me for taking her upstairs away from the fun. She was screaming and flailing, hurting herself trying to get away from me. At one point, she screamed such a loud, shrill, shriek, that I thought my ear was bleeding.
There was nothing I could say or do to get her to listen or calm down, so I walked away. I put her in her bed, throwing her tantrum, and left, closing the door behind me. Then I collapsed onto the edge of my own bed, by my doorway, only 10 feet away from her, and listened to her scream, sometimes calling for me.
I hate doing that. I feel like a failure as a parent when I walk away like that. So as I was lying there, I prayed.
I realized there have been plenty of times in my life when I felt as though God had walked away from me, silent. There have been times I was crying out to Him, with no answer. And the similarities struck me.
Charlotte wasn't calling out to me because she wanted me. She was calling out to me because she wanted to do what she wanted to do, and I wasn't allowing it. There have been times in my life where my cry to God, wasn't for God, but rather a plea to Him, to give me what I want. Left to my own devices, angry, and tantrum throwing, I often only had myself to blame for the pain I incurred.
What we want for ourselves, is not always what is best. God knows this, and as our Father, He often disciplines us, just as we might discipline our child. In this case, it was in silence, not giving in to the screaming desires of a child.
As we grow in our faith, my hope (as is with my children as they grow), is that we no longer behave as children. Faith of a child is a very different concept than the tantrum of immaturity. If my daughter had simply leaned in, quietly, in my presence, I would have held her, told her how much I loved her, and how good this nap would be for her health, but behaving the way she was behaving, she wouldn't have heard it.
My hope is that we acknowledge the love our Father has for us, and desire to be in His presence, even when He doesn't give us exactly what we want. I pray that we (I), will stop throwing tantrums when things don't go our (my) way. I pray that we know that His silence, His discipline, and His act of refusal to give in to our earthly desires, is love.
And oh, how He loves us!
When God is silent, are you throwing a fit? Or are you leaning in, listening more closely?
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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