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Lyndsay....an occasional housewife and full time mother. Ours is a life of seaside picnics,cooking & crafts.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Tantrums with God

My son, Rowan,  is firmly routed in the toddler stage. Life for him seems to be strong emotion after strong emotion. From excitement to confusion, contentment to rage. From the angst of a cup that wont fit, to the  joy of watching a small car take a perilous tumble down a flight of stairs. For us as parents, the emotions are strong too. The intensity of love can be staggering, the heartache can be crippling. Our job is evolving- he feeds himself, he walks (runs), he is beginning to say what he wants (mama....car). But whereas his sisters were manageable, predictable, contented...our little bear is putting all our parenting skills to the test. The ways that worked in the past, just dont appear to be working for us. Its a real challenge as we seek to find that balance between discipline and love.

Its on days like today, as I tell this great hulk of testosterone for the 12th time, not to bite me,that I ask myself how God must feel when he looks on and sees us struggling with the same problems, time after time. The bible shows God frequently as the concerned mother, the giver of life. Hosea 11:3-4 sees God lamenting:

It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, 
   taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize 
  it was I who healed them.
 I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts  a little child to the cheek,
   and I bent down to feed them.

What must it have been like to keep on teaching the Israelites the same lessons time after time? It should be simple... Listen to me, trust me, stop damaging yourselves. Is it any wonder we see such a range of emotion from God.  Sometimes he responds with such rage that it is shocking. I felt a touch of that myself this morning as rowan gave his sister a black eye. What must it be like for god to see us hurting each other? Can we honestly say we have loved our brothers and our sisters?

Ive heard people refer to baby christians...the idea that the christian journey is one of growth;God treats us very gently in the beginning, only to guide us into a more mature place of understanding when we are fully grown. Well I dont know that I entirely agree....at least, in almost 10 years of walking with him, I'm still stumbling around in the wilderness. Maybe its just me, or maybe it takes an eternity to fully get it right. As Christians, we know how to live well, we have the conviction of the holy spirit,but part of us remains a tantruming toddler, determined to push the barriers, to take control. Like my young son taking out his frustrations on himself,we are all banging our heads against the floor in one way or another.

The bible is the story of gods relationship with humanity. We see how he birthed the universe, how he created people in his image, how he loved and cherished his family. And how, through Jesus that love is open to all. Rather than baby believers growing into mature christians, lets look to developing the church from adolescence into adulthood. For we know we are preparing ourselves to be his bride. Jesus sees the heart of a person.  He knows his children, and in his mercy he parents us all in a very unique and personal way. Valuing our individuality, loving us in our complexities, never failing to lavish grace upon us.

So thats my prayer for the church, that we would accept gods  inclusive parenting, rather than deciding for ourselves who is welcome in his family. And for myself, I pray that I Would see my little adventurer with the eyes of our mother god. That I wouldnt lose patience with him in his exploration of who he is and how he fits into this world. For as much as I grow weary with the terrible twos, God, incredibly, never grows tired of us.


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