Naomi’s shirt was on backwards. At 2 years old you really don’t care about such things, but since we were heading out, I did. She was raring to go, so I told her quickly that I needed to turn her shirt around. She stood still for half a second as I took her arms out of her shirt with the intent of just turning the shirt around and putting it back on.
However, the instant I didn’t do the normal thing that comes after taking her arms out of the shirt (taking it off over her head), she flipped out! She wanted to go, and she wanted to go NOW! To her having a shirt on at all or one on backwards, didn’t matter.
The wrestling match began then as she fought to get out of her shirt, not understanding my intent of just quickly turning it around. She was in a hurry and insistent on things going her way.
As I sat there frustrated as she ran away, sans shirt, I was reminded that at 2 she couldn’t understand my purpose in taking her arms out, or what I was doing with her shirt. She only knows 2 things – shirt on, shirt off.
She hasn’t figured out that Mommy can have a different purpose in mind for an action than what she thinks the purpose is.
I wondered why she couldn’t just trust that I was trying to help her and obey?
That’s when God reminded me that I often struggle to do the same with Him. I think I know what He wants me to do. I think I understand His purpose and direction. I think I know what’s best and how to get there.
But I can be wrong.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 5:8-9
I can fight to keep things the way that I understand, and the purposes that I understand and know. Or I can trust my Heavenly Father that whatever He is asking me to do is right and makes sense – even if it doesn’t to me.
I’ve fought Him many times in my life over issues that I didn’t understand.
I fought Him when I didn’t understand why my womb was closed for so long. I fought Him when my first 3 children served His purpose here quickly and were gone. I ran when He called me to lay down some major life fears and struggles and give them over to Him.
Whenever God has asked me to do something I’ve wrestled with Him trying to understand. I’ve had to look and ask for the why and purpose in His asking. Sometimes I can see it easily, or at least I think I can see it. Sometimes things don’t make much sense to me, or not at all! Then I wrestle over whether to comply or not.
Am I going to be obedient and follow God even if I can’t understand the why?
Can I trust Him enough to know that even if He doesn’t do things the way I expect or want, that He’s doing what is right and best for me?
I know what the answer should be, but following it is something totally different.
I’m sure this lesson will take a while to really sink in. Just as I know there will be many more misunderstanding battles between Naomi and I. However, I hope we both can learn to trust and obey.
What is your gut reaction when things don’t make sense to you? Do you see that reaction in your children?