I spent the better part of the month of July taking care of sick kids. Stomach bug followed by a random fever followed by a head cold that led to a cough and passed to the baby who quickly developed bronchitis and required shots and breathing treatments. And I went through a few of those myself. Needless to say, I didn’t get out much.
But I did spend lots of time calming ill children, trying to help them be comfortable enough to rest and heal, fighting them to get down another dose of medicine. They were unhappy and resisted my efforts, not understanding the benefit that would come if they would trust my intentions and let the prescribed solution work. They were exhausted, stuck in a vicious cycle of not resting well due to feeling bad, leading to feeling worse due to being extra tired. I knew they needed sleep, but they struggled to relax. I was fully focused and invested in their well-being, but they weren’t experiencing well-being at the time and didn’t understand why I wasn’t fixing everything faster.
Have you made the metaphoric jump yet?
It hit me one night as I tried to soothe a flailing baby who was just tired of coughing and needed real rest:
I’m the baby and God is the parent. He’s working to make it better and I’m just crying my eyes out that life is hard and if this is His concern for me, why does it sometimes seem all wrong? I end up frustrated with God for not snapping His fingers like Mary Poppins and having everything swoosh right back into place.
I must remember that this world is broken, even splintered to the core in places. Kind of like a tire swing that has been given a violent shove, the world got off kilter when sin entered and we are holding on for dear life as our reality flips and spins and sways. If you're facing the right way and holding on well, it can be fun. But then the tire spins and the ground seems to tilt the wrong way and your hand slips and you can't tell which way is down, and it's at least unsettling, if not downright scary.
And the thing is, God isn't doing it to us. He is right there with us, caring for us, fully focused and invest in our well-being, even if we are not experiencing it at the moment. Our fear or loss doesn't change that.
Sometimes I must accept periods of recovery, when things aren't going well for real reasons that need time to be set right again. When I experience unwellness, it's natural to want it all better, right away. But just as I want my children to trust my efforts, intentions and timing, so must I trust God's for me.