There are times (often daily) that my emotional, dramatic, strong-willed little four-year-old really gets to me. I mean, really gets to me. There have been times that I have literally pulled in my lips between my teeth and clamped down with all my might for fear of saying something out of anger. Something along the lines of “SHUT UP! GET A GRIP! You want me to really give you something to cry about?!” Yeah, those words have run through my head. And sometimes I have to clamp down so hard on those sinful lips of mine that they HURT.
Lately God has been giving me more compassion for the little drama queen I call my daughter. Of course, as it usually works with God, that means He puts the mirror in front of my face. As I struggle through my own junk and I sob out to God, “This stinks!” or “This isn’t fair!” He gently reminds me that perhaps my little drama queen gets a flair for the dramatic from me. Her little mind can’t comprehend the better good–why her father and I sometimes have to discipline her in order to teach her. “No” often doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially when she wants to hear “yes” so badly! When we don’t allow her to do something or take something away from her, she cries out, “That hurts my feelings!”
Hmmm…..sounds a wee bit like how I feel when God allows things in my life that don’t make sense to me. Sure, I rarely stomp around and throw fits anymore (I cannot remember the last time that I stuck my tongue out at God, but can certainly remember the last time my four-year-old stuck her tongue out at me…..grrrr….), but I do spend a fair amount of time feeling sorry for myself when God allows something that I don’t particularly like or want. Don’t even get me started on how I mourn (grown up version of pouting) when He tells me “no” when I just want to hear a stinkin’ “yes”!
Thankfully, I am pretty sure that God in His holiness doesn’t have to hold back words like “Shut up, you little crybaby!” or “Pull it together, for heaven’s sake.” Not that I wouldn’t deserve it, of course. He deals with me much more gently than I often deal with my children. He doesn’t forego discipline or instruction, but He does it with patience and compassion….two things He is teaching me in my parenting. And with the tantrum of the day behind me (my daughter’s, not my own), I can be confident that tomorrow will provide me another opportunity to parent in a more Godly way.