How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts? And every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Isaiah 55: 8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I place my toddler in his high chair and present him with a slice of sweet yellow pepper and baby carrot.
He scowls. “No! I want chips,” he announces, and flings pepper and carrot to the far corner of the room.
“Your choices today are a yellow pepper or carrots,” I remind him as I pick up the food particles.
“No! I want chips.”
Our eyes lock. My blood pressure rises. “Your choices today are peppers or carrots,” I repeat, regretting having given him three chips from my lunch the day before.
He throws his blond head against the high chair, howls and slams his fists on his tray. I yank the tray off, haul him out and he throws himself onto a pile of pillows a few feet away that he enjoys jumping into and wails.
“When you are ready to eat your peppers and carrots, they are on your tray,” I remind him more calmly this time.
Ten minutes pass while he wears himself out, and I debate whether I’m doing the right thing. I dab his big brown eyes and runny nose with a tissue.
“Mommy hold me.”
I pick him up and hug him, kissing his slightly sweaty head. “Are you ready for your peppers and carrots now?”
I think I exhibit the same behavior with God. He is gracious enough to give me choices. To tremble in fear or relax and trust? Cling to pride or surrender in humility? So I choose fear and pride, and when peace eludes me, I rage inwardly.
My toddler and I are both in our own parallel power struggles. He battles me over his meals and diaper changes. But I always win. I battle with God over uncertainty. I offer Him a plethora of suggestions. My analytical mind spins out of control with all possibilities to solve a problem, but in the end, all I’ve done is exhaust myself. My energies need to go to trusting God and believing that his ways are best. God always wins.
I pray for patience and then find myself in a season of waiting. I ask God to teach me trust and I find myself in a situation that I cannot fix. I wrestle with doubt and the comfort comes only in weeping into the pages of scripture. And then gratitude gently washes over me as I slowly become aware that God is indeed working on my rebellious heart. He knows. He is not surprised by my struggle. And He is ever so patient with me.
Dear Heavenly Father:
Forgive me for thinking that my way is better than your way. Forgive my impatience and refusal to trust. I surrender this dilemma to You and trust that in your perfect timing and in your perfect way, You will resolve this situation. Forgive me for trying to control outcomes that only You know. Help me find comfort and peace in simply Your presence and long for nothing more. Amen.