What do you want?
I was at a loss. Our two year-old son wanted — something. Only problem… I had no idea what it was.
He stood in the kitchen. Feet planted. Fists rubbing his eyes as he bellowed out, tears owning his cheeks. And I knelt down at his side, put my arm around him and said, “What do you want? Tell me. What’s wrong?“
He couldn’t stop crying long enough to tell me much of anything, except to answer, “I don’t want that!“
It’s a very childlike response, isn’t it?
When our little guy doesn’t get what he wants, or needs, or thinks he needs, he cries out. He’ll turn away from us. He’ll stomp and try his best to slam doors. And it’s funny that all the while, we’re just trying to figure out what in the world just happened.
As parents, we’re the ones who are often dumbfounded when a child’s outburst occurs. If he could, I’m sure our toddler would tell us what’s wrong. (It was probably the green sippy cup he wanted that day — not the red one.) And we’d listen. Of course we’d listen. We want to help. We want to ease his pain and bless him in any way we can. But he’s too busy focusing on the problem instead of the problem solvers.
He’s forgotten we’re even in the room.
I’ve learned so much about God’s love for us from our kids.
I had a moment the other day. Yep. One of those moments.
It was an overwhelming “I just need to talk to God” moment. I grabbed a box of tissues and headed for the home office, intent to pray through a discouraging problem I’ve been facing. And I cried. Ugly-cried! I grabbed tissues and sat on the floor, praying through my tears, “But God — I didn’t want that in my life!“
What happened was not fun. It stretched my faith like an old oak tree in a storm; I was at the breaking point. I couldn’t see past the circumstances of the “now”. And funny thing, in the midst of the rubbing my eyes and blowing my nose, that picture of our toddler came fresh to my mind.
I’d forgotten — God was there.
My parent was in the room. Waiting. Patient. Listening with His heart touched. And He earnestly wanted to respond and bless me through the problem, but I couldn’t manage to look up. I’d forgotten Who and Where and What He is.
He’s our problem solver, but I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see Him.
It’s not a popular response to say, “I’m going to God with ______ problem.” No matter how big. No matter how small. But if we’re honest with ourselves, and if we truly crave relationship over religion, we’ll do it. We’ll take our problems and leave them with the One who can do something about it. We’ll buck up against the doubts that if there even is a God, He couldn’t care less about our petty human problems.
It’s often when the wind picks up and the clouds roll in that we realize our need for parenting. In the midst of our life storms, He’ll reach out and offer the galoshes to cover our walking feet. Because yes — we sometimes still must walk as the rain falls. We, as followers of Jesus, walk through problems every day.
I’ve met some of you who are walking through cancer. Debt. Divorce. Loss. Regret. Abortion. Drugs. Hopelessness. Loneliness. Apathy. Fear. Maybe even the simple thought that there is no God, and that’s that.
But… it isn’t.
Whether or not I look up, my parent is still in the room.
Whether or not I choose to talk to Him, or trust Him, and even believe He’s there… my parent is still waiting on me. Waiting for me to talk Him. To be specific. To share my needs. My concerns. To build our foundation. To strengthen our relationship because I bring both my best and my worst to Him.
And what’s cool? He’s already solved the problem of my sin. He’s already cleaned up my messes of yesterday, today, and those yet to come. He’s already made a home for this kid.
Are you wondering if the room is empty?
Look up. Forget the problem for the second it takes to lock eyes with Him instead. It’s not magic. And He’s not Santa in the sky. He’s Abba — our Daddy — hushed, and listening, and waiting for our pain to solve.