My Heart's Temper Tantrums
Last week was not my finest hour. It's not that I did anything stupid or caused a huge rift in a relationship, actually it's quite the opposite. As a result of (and now being on the other side of) being crabby for a week, I have been faced with the beautiful grace of God again. I wasn't feeling great or sleeping well last week and then something happened to some of the most amazing people I know. I mean seriously they are one of the kindest families to walk the face of this planet. And what they are faced with just sucks. It was one of those times that causes people to ask the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" or for those questioning God's goodness, "Why would a good God let something like that happen?"
Asking those questions isn't how I deal with grief and anger. I am at a point in life and have seen the hand of God move in ways that I do not doubt His ultimate control. More than that, I don't doubt His ultimate goodness. But I'm not a robot. There are certain times when I just get pissed, and generally the One Who Loves Me Most gets the full force of my rage. This happened a couple years ago when the house I was living in got robbed. Now God in His beautiful sovereignty allowed me to go home early that night and open the garage door right after the robbers had busted through the back door. They only had time to take one thing and that was my iPod which, since I didn't have a computer at the time to update it, pretty much it only had Joyce Meyer and Ravi Zacharias on it. From how little the house was ransacked, the robbers most likely left when they heard the garage door open. In God's sovereignty I wasn't walking in as they were breaking in. God's hand was obviously on the whole situation, something I see now and take comfort in. At the time however, I was hurt and upset and scared. The only words I could muster to say to my Savoir were, "You could have stopped it." And He could have. I have no doubt of His power to keep me safe in a bubble and His power to intervene in every hurtful situation. I also know He doesn't always intervene, and I will never know why He makes some of the choices that He does. I find such comfort in that because although I don't like how it feels during these times, I ultimately have peace because I can trust Him. Despite having trust in Him, I don't always grieve in a healthy way. My heart feels like a tea kettle on the stove top when the steam is busting through. I find myself walking around and just randomly dropping a word here or there (the kind I would never say in front of my mother), and to the outsider it may look odd or even contradictory to trusting God. But to Him who sees my heart, it makes sense. Also in times of grieving I usually retreat from God. Not that I go off the deep end or "backslide", but I just don't want to look at Him. I know He's there. I know He loves me. I take comfort in His having control of the situation, but I just don't want to look at Him. I'm not sure if I can explain that in a way it makes sense. I still will talk with Him during the day and trust that when something comes up He has my back and hears my prayers, but I don't run to Him like I should. In times when I am deeply hurt I do not sit in stillness or enjoy the beauty and sacredness of time spent with Him. I just don't want to look at Him... A couple weeks ago I was at a friend's house hanging with her, her kid, and her niece. Both of the kids are 4ish which means sharing isn't their favorite thing to do. So that night there was a toy they were fighting over and it came time for my friend's son to have his turn playing with it. Well, he is a smart kid and realized all he had to do was put the toy in his backpack and it would be his the remainder of the night. Now, my very wise friend saw this happening and calmly told him not to put the prized toy in the backpack, but rather play with it or let his cousin have it. Well, this little boy, who is seriously one of my favorite people in the world, has not reached full emotional maturity. His response to being told no was a two to three minute attempt to rile his mother with his fit-like actions. He held the toy halfway in the backpack and halfway out and with a loud voice told his mother, "I'm putting it in the backback. I'm going to do it." and other such threats. I watched all this go down and marveled at how my friend kept her cool and still talked with me about whatever was on tv. Then at one point, when he started to get really loud, she looked at him and simply said, "You heard what I said. Do not put it in the backpack.", and with that the episode was over. I am good with kids, and this particular one is my favorite, but I don't think had she not been there, I would have handled it the same way. Not to say I would blow up and get mad at the 4 year old, but I would have addressed the wrong behavior. But I'm not his mom. I truly believe God pairs parents with kids and gives the wisdom needed to parent that kid the way they need, which is why so many good parents do things completely different.
As I was looking back on my week of being mean to my Creator, I thought of that incident with my friend and her kid and realized I was doing the same thing to my Heavenly Daddy that my friend's kid was doing to her. What a beautiful picture of God's grace and Him being our perfect Father. I take such comfort knowing He knows where I lack maturity. He completely understands why when my heart is overwhelmed I act the way I do. He knows completely that that temper tantrum is in fact the best I have to offer and sits patiently till it is over. Then when I curl back up in His lap and am still enough to hear His heartbeat and mine once again aligns with His, I take comfort in the fact that He is maturing me. I will not always deal with deep pain like this. The day will come when I will do what my heart craves and run to Him with my pain. I also take comfort that He knows me so deeply that He does not expect me to behave more maturely than I am. I'm free to be myself in His presence and He loves me, warts and all.