This morning, I read an excellent blog entitled I Had A God-Given Dream by John Knox (@watchmanjohn). My comment became so long that I realized I needed to cut it short and write my on blog on the subject of our response when we do not understand what we perceive to be God's lack of response or the answer is not what we hoped it would be.
First of all, I am not going to pretend it is an easy thing to deal with. We are, after all, children so our knee-jerk reaction is to become demanding, impatient, puzzled, hurt and even angry and resentful when we do not get our own way. This is partly because not only are we short-sighted; we do not understand. However, I believe it is mostly due to the fact that when we allow ourselves to be ruled by the flesh instead of by the Spirit, we are not only children, we are selfish, spoiled children who do not want to trust and obey God. We want what we want, when and how we want it. Sigh...
Sometimes God wants to do something greater than what we want. We want to stand up when God wants us to walk. We want to walk when God wants us to run. We want to run when God wants us to fly and do you know what? It takes a lot more time, energy and practice to learn how to "soar like an eagle" than it does to stand up.
At the moment, my grandson is trying to learn how to crawl forward. He was born nine weeks premature so he has had a bit of catching up to do and we have to remember that. He has actually been working on this for a few weeks. One of his arms would get tucked under him and he didn't quite know how to get it untucked. He kept at it though. At times he would make a terrible fuss about it because his arm was caught and our instinct would be to run over to him immediately and "fix it" but we knew that the struggle was an important part of not only learning how to do it but mastering this skill. So, we allowed him to struggle for awhile. We didn't walk away and leave him there and we did not allow him to struggle forever. Using the wisdom that God has given us as parents (and grandparents), we knew when he had reached his limit for now and needed us to intervene. Of course, he thought we should intervene the moment he cried but as every good parent knows, unless our child is hurt or in danger we need to pause for a moment or two or three or...
"But they won't trust me!" is sometimes the cry. Yes, they will. They will learn to turn over, sit up, crawl, stand, walk, run and jump. They will do things they could have never imagined doing when they were lying flat on their back unable to turn at all. They learned that through all their ups and downs, you were there in the background, watching over them whether they knew it or not. They learned that when they truly needed you, all they had to do was cry out and you were right there to help them, hold them and comfort them as needed.
I remember the first time my son asked me if I wanted to do "cares" for my grandson when he was in the hospital. He was in NICU in an isolette and had dropped down to just over 3 1/2 pounds. He was so unbelievably tiny and though I had literally changed thousands of diapers over the years (a few of them on my own child), my grandson's tiny body that had not yet developed a layer of fat was so fragile, especially since he still had some tubes connected to him. I hesitated for a moment as I eyed his tiny body nearly enveloped by preemie diaper.My tall son looked into my eyes, understanding my reason for hesitation. "I trust you, Mom. You took good care of me and you will take good care of my son." The son whom I had allowed to try to do things "all by himself" under my loving, watchful eye, trusted me implicitly because he knew he could.
How much more so can we trust our Heavenly Father, even when we do not understand?