Photo via case.edu
I saw a familiar sight as I walked out of the grocery store. A dad and his daughter, no more than three years old, simply talking while walking to their car with groceries in hand. However, just as I glanced over, she began to pitch a monumental fit! Arms flailing, crying, screaming-she threw herself on the ground.
My very first thought was, Boy am I glad my kids are past that stage! Ha!
I was curious as to how the dad would respond. With a bag of groceries in his left hand, he reached down with his right arm and picked his daughter up and carried her, barrel-style, all the way to the car. I was memorized at how calm, cool and collected he was. He didn’t lash out or yell or anything. He also knew better than to try to reason with a three year-old in this state. He simply picked her up and walked on with her under his arm as she continued to fuss and flail.
My second thought was, Wow, that dad is amazing! He didn’t even flinch.
God spoke to me and said, Look familiar?
Yes, indeed, I snickered. I remember those days with my kids like it was yesterday.
I’m not talking about your kids. I’m talking about you, He whispered.
Oh my! He was right. There have been times in my life when God needed to intervene for my good even when I disagreed. No discussion. No reasoning. Just action on His part in response to mine. Whether I am overwhelmed with emotion, or so busy I can’t clearly think things through, God never gets flustered. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Would it have been okay for that dad to have driven off in frustration and left his toddler in the parking lot? Would it have been okay to let her have her way and stay lying on the ground in the middle of the road with cars coming and going? Would he have really had been able to articulate all the reasons why she needed to get up and move to safety? Not in that moment. This dad acted in her best interest even though she didn’t understand or agree with his response.
I am so thankful that God does the same for us. He sees the bigger picture and understands situations far better than we do. When circumstances arise that we fall apart over, God is still on His throne and is able to make decisions based on what’s best for us-even if we’re throwing a fit on the inside. Even if it means He must proverbially pick us up and remove us from the situation whether we think we know what we want or not and regardless if we think we know what’s best for us at the moment.
His hands are strong. His heart is loving. His mind is omnipotent. Even when we falter and lose our senses, He is still in control. There is a time for everything. A time to discipline. A time to discuss. And a time to simply act on our behalf.
Below are some photos I’ve taken that remind me of His hands, His wisdom and His love for us. May we be able to walk obediently with God today. And if not, may He know when we need to be picked up and carried.
The LORD answered Job… and said, “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? Job 38: 1, 8-11
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
…See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:28-30
(Creation You have made) all looks to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. Psalm 104:27-28
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1