How God Reveals His Nature Through Our Children
We have a baby in the house again. He's our fourth boy. And there is a seven year gap between our third and fourth boys so we are learning new rhythms of life and re-adjusting to saying things like “Baby Finn, don’t eat the dog food” and “Boys, put the toilet seat down so Finn doesn’t splash in the toilet water.” Oh yes, we are back there again. It’s been exhausting and crazy but it’s also been extraordinarily wonderful.
Finn has brought out a new tenderness in our three older boys. And Finn has taught me to slow down and savor moments that I would have previously pushed right through with my three older boys.
God is also teaching me new things about His nature and His character through Finn. One of those things happens almost every time I feed him.
When I buckle my little guy into his high chair he can see food on the counter in front of him. He will wait patiently- at first. But soon thereafter he starts to point at the food and kick his feet to tell me how much he wants it. And if that doesn’t work he will pound on his tray. And if that doesn’t work, he screams. He is only fourteen months old so he can’t understand why I won’t give him what he wants right when he wants it.
What Finn doesn’t know is that the food in front of him isn’t ready for him, just yet. Either the pasta is too hot for him. Or the grapes are too big and need to be sliced for him. He doesn’t understand that I’m withholding things from him – or simply not saying yes to him just yet- because I love him and I know what’s best for him. I’m not ignoring him or even trying to test him. I am just asking him to be patient. To wait. To trust me while I prepare good things for him. From his perspective, I might appear uncaring or unconcerned about his needs. But that’s only because he doesn’t know what I know.
Maybe you know where I’m going with this.
The other morning, while trying to comfort Finn while He waited for his food, God brought to memory many of the times in my life when I have asked for –or better said, fervently prayed for- things that I was confident I needed. Things I needed sooner than later. Things that were right in front of me and looked good for me but yet, God was not giving them to me. Times when I couldn’t understand why a good God wouldn’t answer my prayer and give me my heart’s desire.
Of course, in looking back, I can see so clearly why God asked me to trust Him. To be patient. To wait. But it's not always clear when we’re in the thick of waiting, just like it isn’t so clear to Finn why he has to wait for what’s right in front of him and looks so good to him.
In the book of Lamentations, Chapter 3, verses 24-26, the prophet Jeremiah writes: "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.”
Friend, I know that waiting is hard. Really hard. Finn reminds me of that every time he has to wait to be fed. And Finn gives me a glimpse (though not a very pretty one) of what I must look like at times when I don’t wait on God well.
But we can, with confidence, know that God hears our prayers, He is a promise-keeper, and He loves us deeply. In fact, He loves us so much that He doesn’t give us everything we ask for exactly when we ask for it, just like we can’t give our children everything they ask for, exactly when they ask for it.
So if you’re waiting on God to answer a prayer you have been fervently praying, I just want to encourage you today to put your hope in the Lord. He is good. And He is good to the person who seeks Him and waits for Him to answer. And He will answer with perfect faithfulness. Therefore we can “hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promises.” Hebrews 10:23 NLT
All is grace,
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