Read Introduction & Part 1
Read parts 4 & 5
Read Parts 6 & 7
2) He’s communicating with me, even when I don’t understand it all… And that’s ok with Him.
I could sit and talk with Tristan all day long. It’s so much fun to whisper in his ear all the things I hope for him . . . that I want him to always know without question that he is loved, and that he someday understands how much that means.
He, of course, doesn’t understand a word of it. Sure, he knows (sometimes) that I’m talking to him. And he comprehends enough to give me back the biggest, most amazing grins I’ve ever seen on anyone’s face, ever.
But he doesn’t understand even the barest fraction of what I’m actually communicating.
And that’s fine. As he grows more into the fullness of who he is, part of that growth will be in his ability to communicate back with me . . . to make our relationship less and less one-way, and more and more two-way. Even in the six months since he was born, I’ve already seen that happen a little bit.
And isn’t that exactly what God says? That as we grow in our relationship with Him, we move from milk to meat? We “put away childish things”? We understand, in short, more and more of what He is constantly trying to tell us?
3) When He gets angry, it’s not necessarily at us
Thus far, the most frustrating times with Tristan have been trying to get him to fall asleep, either for a nap or for bedtime. The little guy just doesn’t like to go to sleep! (I think he gets that from his dad)
It’s incredibly frustrating sometimes, particularly after it’s been three hours of passing him back and forth between me and Heidi, rocking, bouncing, walking, laying down, nursing, and generally trying just about anything and everything to get him to nod off . . . only to have him wake up again two minutes after he’s finally conked out.
But that’s hardly his fault. It’s not like he’s somehow deliberately doing whatever he can to annoy us. He just isn’t ready for sleep.
And isn’t that how we are, sometimes? I’m not talking about those times when we do deliberately engage with things we know God doesn’t want for us . . . I’m talking about those times when I’m reading the same passage in scripture for the fifth time, thinking to myself “Ok, God . . . what’s the point of this bit here??” Or the times when I’ve had a fellow believer tell me, with utmost sincerity, what they think God’s will is in a given situation, and my only thought is “I just don’t see that!” Or the times when I can’t bring myself to listen to the truth in what someone says because of ways I’ve been hurt or disillusioned by them or others in the past.
All of that has to be intensely frustrating to God. But I don’t think He’s frustrated at us. I think, in times like those, He’s frustrated at sin . . . at the separation it introduces.
He’s frustrated, in short, at the circumstances in which our relationship exists. Just as I get frustrated sometimes at the circumstances in which my relationship with Tristan exists. I think a lot of times we parents expect things of our children for which they’re not developmentally ready. We expect them to sleep easily, to behave as we wish them to act, to comprehend things they can’t fathom yet, or to communicate their feelings and needs better than they are capable of doing . . .
Isn’t it wonderful that God doesn’t expect that of us?