Isn’t it a good thing that God protects us from ourselves? I rarely appreciate it at the time. I’m afraid I have thrown my fair share of tantrums, pity parties and gripe sessions. I want to have fun, preferably my way in my timing! I get frustrated when God trumps my decisions and reminds me of his rules. It reminds me of taking a young child to the ocean to have fun.
A child lives for fun and adventure, but is unable to comprehend all the dangers present. He doesn’t see how fragile his life is or how deadly the force of water can be. He doesn’t understand there are deadly creatures around as well as sharp shells and debris littering the ocean floor. To the child, he is all-powerful and in control. That can be us with God if we refuse to grow up in wisdom and understanding. I know I can relate to this, maybe you can too? We get tired of God’s rules and warnings. “Just let me play,” we yell! “Stop worrying! You’re ruining my fun day!”
But as a parent, I understand. I love to see my kids have fun and enjoy life. There’s nothing better. How great it is to be part of fun memories they will cherish forever! Parents live for good things in their child’s life!
And we also know how fragile life is. So we give our child rules to keep him safe. Water only up to your belly button! Don’t cross this point! Stay near your brother! Look out for jellyfish! Wear your ocean shoes! Time for more sunscreen! Lunch break! You’ve had enough sun today. Ok, if you put on a shirt, we’ll stay a half hour longer but that’s it.
And as fun as the day was, there’s a bit of relief to leave safe and happy, full of great memories. We balanced our hope for good things with our desperate desire to protect those we love so much.
We are imperfect, sinful creatures but we have these amazing parental instincts. Can we see these same parental instincts in our relationship with our loving and holy Father? He loves to be part of our joy and wonderful experiences. He wants us to enjoy life’s beauty, adventures and gifts. And He loves each of us infinitely more than we can imagine. He also has rules in place to protect us. Can we appreciate them and obey them, maybe without all the complaining and whining? Can we just decide in our hearts that our amazing, perfect, wonderful Father, who is love itself, knows best what we do and do not need?
Our kids can really suck the fun out of a wonderful day. They can complain until we regret even going places. I expect some, “Aw Mom!!! C’mon I’m not five any more!” comments and a “You’re no fun” here and there. But when it’s all day, it gets old! Do we do that to God sometimes? All of the time? We make Him out to be the bad guy. We gripe and pout, criticize, pull away from Him. It’s foolish and hurtful.
Isn’t it amazing that we can actually bless the Almighty God of the universe? We, as sinful, selfish children are able to bring Him joy. Our obedience and decision to trust Him and stop challenging everything He says brings Him joy.
A young child may be unable to grasp all the dangers from which he had been protected. But he understands more as he grows up, or should. He hears about real tragedies, some that could be been avoided, others that couldn’t. He feels the sting of a jellyfish. He misses a day of fun outside because he was painfully sun burnt. And one day, he is the dad that can not bear to see his own child get hurt.
Let’s make that decision to trust God’s way of doing things. Whether or not we understand them, we know He has nothing but goodness and love for each precious person He created and sent His Son to die for. We can use our time and energies to thank Him for the day at the beach and all the fun we did have and stop the complaining and griping that we couldn’t do everything our way. Perhaps if we had done it our way, we wouldn’t be alive to think more about it.
He is truly a good Father. He is incapable of cruelty and has no desire to torment us or play mind games. Those things are pretty common for us to do, as people, but that’s not God. The more we allow ourselves to grow in His wisdom, the more we’ll learn to thank Him for His amazing protection and love. Maybe it’s a step to at least play the silent game for a bit? But the goal is to be willing and able to praise Him for His plans and His way every day. No one wants to be a toddler for life!