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Temper Tantrums with the Almighty

When things don’t go my way, I do not handle it well. Like today, I had this nice blog post planned; we were going to talk about rest... and babies.

I was going to tell you about this toddler I babysit and how God is teaching me all about sleep and its importance. Because this poor eighteen-month-old baby has been teething for the past few weeks. And has a cough. 

So sleep? Yeah, he’s certainly been deprived of it. 

And let me tell you, if you spend just five minutes with a sleep-deprived child, you will suddenly value sleep more than anything else. 

You see, this tired little guy is cranky. He’s waking up during naptime and crying so loudly that I think I may have some hearing loss. And when he’s awake, it's even worse. 

Nothing keeps him happy for more than a minute or two. And since he can’t adequately communicate what he wants, he gets frustrated… every minute or two. 

It’s been a long week, to say the least.

I mean, just imagine caring for someone who doesn’t understand why they can’t touch the stove or run across the street or eat the food that they’re allergic to. 

You know you’re protecting them, but they just cannot understand it. 

And what makes matters worse is that their irritability makes you irritable too; it’s tiring trying to communicate with someone who just doesn’t get it.

(No, this blog is not just a venting sesh, although it sure seems that way…)

When I sat down to write this post, oh, about ten minutes ago by now, I was not in a good mood. Because some cute little guy woke up screaming… for a reason I do not know. 

So I rocked him. Laid him back down. Tiptoed down the steps and prayed that the creaky floorboards (the third step’s the worst) would not wake him up… 

Or the ambulance driving by.

Or the car honking outside. 

Or his own grumpiness, causing him to cough himself awake waayyyy before he gets enough sleep.

(I now understand why my parents would literally army crawl out of my room, desperate to keep their light sleeper of a daughter ASLEEP!)

Even now, I keep thinking I hear him. It’s like I'm on edge, just waiting for that dreaded cry. 

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this ‘thing’ that’s not going my way? Yes, it is he, the adorable little boy currently in my care. 

What’s your ‘thing’ today? I know you probably have one. 

It seems like every day has something that goes wrong, doesn’t it? 

Jesus did say that we will have troubles in this world, but my gosh, does it have to be so much trouble all the time

Friends, we think like this a lot, don’t we? Complaining comes a whole lot easier than praising. Especially when it seems like there’s a never-ending stream of stressors and sorrows headed right towards us. 

But, I wonder how God handles our misery, complaints, irritability. 

Do you think that maybe, just maybe, He sees us the same way we see toddlers? 

I don’t know about you, but I can certainly relate to the mood swings of one.

I just don’t throw my food or lay on the floor screaming. Although sometimes it's tempting (that was a joke, don’t worry).

In a lot of ways, we are toddlers - defenseless, dependent, and dramatic - compared to God.

Part of that is because, yes, we may also be sleep deprived, but I think the deeper connection is that we cannot understand God’s ways… just like a little kid cannot understand ours. 

If I let that little boy do something that I knew was going to harm him, just because he doesn't like to be told no, I wouldn’t be a very good caregiver.

It’s the same with God. 

Let’s say He ends a relationship you’re in, or doesn’t provide the promotion you prayed for, or allows you to be in a car accident. 

You’d be pretty mad, right? Frustrated, confused, maybe even hopeless. 

But His ways are higher than our ways. 

What if we knew - like He does - that staying in the relationship would’ve led to abuse? Or that the promotion would’ve stripped you of your moral and ethical code? Or… what could possibly be good about a car crash?

I don’t know. But I can assure you that He does. And He always works for the good of those who love Him. 

Now I know this has been a bit of a sporadic post, but do you get what I’m saying here? 

All too often, we lean on our limited understandings, getting angry and upset with the One who is protecting us.

We are as feeling-driven as toddlers, naïve and helpless and needing someone to guide us. 

We need a good Caregiver to provide. A good Shepherd to steer. And a good Father to love. 

Thankfully, God is all of those things and many more. He is the ‘thing’ that goes our way, always and forever. 

Let's lean on His (limitless) understanding instead of our limited ones. I promise you, trusting in Him will never lead you astray.


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