“Oh, Child”

Yesterday morning as my family circled around the breakfast table, my youngest daughter Tenley, was in a fitful mood.

At 15 months old, Tenley sat in her highchair and fussed profusely over everything I offered her. Not even her favorite combination of blueberries and cinnamon toast could appease or coax a smile.

“Oh, child,” I said, feeling a bit exasperated. “What is it you want that isn’t being given to you.”

As the words left my mouth, I wondered at how many times God has spoken the same words to me. I know there are moments and days in which my own posture before Him resembles that of a little child. Times when I fuss, complain and refuse to be satisfied with what He has given.

Sometimes Tenley’s fussiness comes when she doesn’t get her way or when she sees something she wants but cannot have, (Marshmallows for breakfast.) Other times, her fussiness is born out of a legitimate distress, such as swollen gums from teething, a bad fall, or a shortage of good rest.

Despite my age and supposed maturity, the same is true of me. Sometimes when I fuss and complain, the fault is purely mine and an attitude adjustment is what I need. These are the times when my complaints come petty over small and insignificant things that just don’t go my way. Other times, my fussing, complaining, and discontent are steeped in that which matters. Life creates wounds, hurts, and sorrows, that make me cry, “Why?”

As a mom it’s often easy to see this distinction in my children, but how often do I take the time and discernment to determine the motive of my own heart?

Parenting my little ones is a delicate balance of determining the root of their struggles and lending the care and comfort that is needed. Being parented by God is much the same. As a daughter of the King, I am continuously learning to trust what God is giving, even when it’s not exactly what I want, and even when life hurts. I’m learning the delicate balance of determining the root of my own struggles and accepting what is given with thanks.

When my little ones hurt and in their own way cry, “Why?” they run to me and seek the embrace of mommy’s arms. When I run to God, the “Whys?” and hurts I bring to Him are not always met with answers, but He welcomes me into His arms and cradles me just the same, always giving me just what I need, always giving me comfort.