It started very simply. My son was asked to do something a little out of his comfort zone. Tired and afraid, he decompensated, allowing fear and anger to rule.
He cried, pouted, protested and otherwise tried to get his Dad or me to do it for him. The point, for us, was not winning the battle--it was about helping our beloved son come a step closer to winning the war...with his fear and control issues.
I backed off and let my husband handle the hot tempered ten year old boy while I listened from the other room. The words he used to lash out shook me to the core. I grabbed a pencil and scrawled his words down verbatim as the boy screamed, "I JUST DON'T FEEL LIKE I CAN BELIEVE IN YOU WHEN YOU DON'T DO WHAT I ASK."
I gulped. My husband is one of the most selfless husbands and fathers I have ever seen. He is devoted to our family. He makes countless daily decisions that reflect his care for us. Ten minutes earlier my son was literally jumping into his arms. Yet, here my son was professing that his 'belief in him' was circumstantially dependent on whether his Dad was doing his bidding.
How completely self centered! And how totally like things my angry, frightened, disappointed heart has screamed at God.
And, as if to drive the point home in an unforgettable way my boy concluded his fit by angrily shouting at his father, "Please, just DO what I'M TELLING YOU TO DO."
I don't tell this story to paint a picture of my child that is any different than the baseline position of my heart without the Lord. Without Him, I just want what I want. I don't want to be stretched. I don't want to grow or learn lessons. I just want God to do my bidding. And when He doesn't there's the temptation to be ticked.
Lord, forgive me for the times I base our relationship on what You are (or aren't) doing for me. Thank you for the piercing honesty of a child--and how You use it to peel back layers of my heart and expose attitudes and beliefs that keep me from Your best for my life. Remind my heart of Your incomprehensible love--and that because of that great love, the hard stuff that feels against us is FOR us.
My son stomped defiantly to his room. We reminded him we were on his side and loved him more than he could imagine. We also told him that it was because we loved him so much that we needed to stand firm. Even when he doesn't understand our choices, he has to trust our hearts.
I honestly don't know how much of that he got, but he hugged us anyway.
Tomorrow is a new day...for him and for us.