When I found out I was pregnant, one of my very first prayers was for the Lord to teach me more about Himself through my child. Despite having a fantastic father here on earth, I have always struggled with the “fatherhood” characteristics of God. The Lord promises in His word that if we will seek Him we will find Him, and this promise has certainly been true in my own life as I watch God over and over answer this prayer. This new series will be a place where I can share these “lessons” and thoughts with you. Perhaps the parallel between earthly parenthood and heavenly parenthood can help someone else as well.
Jackson is super squirmy, fast, inquisitive and daring. He first started trying to crawl right before he turned six months old. Fast forward about six weeks and he was zooming around the house. With his new talent of crawling, he immediately started pulling up on everything. Bar stools, doorways, clothes hampers, the cat….you name it and he’s probably pulled up on it. I learned my lesson fast that I couldn’t take my eye off of him for even a second–and I learned it the hard way.
To keep him somewhat “contained” while I’m showering/getting ready for the day, I put him in his walker in the bathroom with me. At least this way he can’t fall down or pick anything up he’s not supposed to get into, but obviously it doesn’t keep him completely out of danger. One day I was straightening my hair and realized I left my make-up bag in my purse, so I turned around to get it. In less than five literal seconds, my child rolled up to the side of the counter and grabbed the straightener cord hanging down. Had I not been close enough, he would have pulled it down on his head and that would have probably resulted in an immediate rush to the emergency room.
I’ll spare you the level of mom-guilt I felt in that moment…just know it was intense. But once I calmed down and realized that no harm was done and that I had just learned my lesson to never take my eyes off of him, the Lord spoke and revealed that this was a lesson I could learn about Him as well.
Jackson didn’t understand why I grabbed the cord out of his hand. He didn’t know about the intense danger he was about to pull down on himself. However I had a view of the entire picture. I knew that if he continued to pull on that cord, he would certainly injure himself. As his loving mother, I knew he simply could not have the object that he wanted.
My, how easily this compares to our spiritual lives! How often do we see the Lord shut doors in our lives? How often do we get mad at Him when He does? We think we know what we want and how our lives should go, but I wonder just how many times the Lord in His sovereign and loving mercy has actually saved us from a terrible disaster by not allowing us to have what we wanted? The house we thought we needed to buy, the guy we wanted to date, the dream job we never got….what if they actually were going to cause us harm in some way? And what if, in His perfect providence, our loving Father didn’t allow us to go down that road because He sees the whole picture and wants to protect us from that harm?
(Note: Sometimes we can push and push to get our way and our loving Dad will decide to let us learn a lesson the hard way. But even then He will pick us up after our fall. That’s a lesson for another day.)
This is obviously not the end-all reason when life doesn’t go our way. Sometimes the Lord just has different plans for our lives. Sometimes we lose something or someone because we live in a fallen world and as a result of that, bad stuff happens. But I think there is a definite lesson to be learned here, and it’s certainly something to consider as we walk through life. Because maybe sometimes when we don’t get the job or the guy or the house or the _____ we shouldn’t pitch a fit, but instead thank our Father and trust in His plan for our lives.
Gosh, it’s something I still struggle with so much. Which is funny, because my kid still struggles with it too. He still reaches for any cord he can get close to and it will be quite some time before he’s old enough to finally learn why he can’t play with them. But that’s okay, because I’ve got my eye on him and I’m here to keep him from injuring himself. And you know what? The same holds true for our God as well. He watches over us every moment of every day and is always there for His children.
Looking back on your life, do you recognize a time where you didn’t get your way that was actually the Lord protecting you from something? Did you see those moments as the Lord protecting you, or were you angry that you didn’t get what you wanted? Have you ever struggled with seeing the Lord’s protection in your life?