Thursday, March 11, 2010

Like a Banner

One of the funnest things about being a parent is watching your kids acquire language. I love when one of the girls gets hold of a new word and just wants to use it, regardless of whether or not they know what it means. For instance, Norah has been loving the word ‘boring’ lately and I’m pretty sure she has no idea what it means. The other day I was brushing her hair and she said, “Dad, when you brush my hair it’s just so boring!” And I’m thinking, “Girl, I don’t really know how to make this process any cooler.” I mean, I guess I could try to brush her hair with one hand and juggle two oranges with the other? Brushing her hair doesn’t even take that long... and I’m sorry, but it is not all that boring! If she’s bored now, what’s she going to do in her sophomore year of high school when she has to spend hours upon hours balancing chemistry equations and reading Beowulf?!

For the past few months Anna has been saying the word ‘tempted’ and it’s really cute because she actually knows exactly what this word means and uses it correctly. Sometimes she’ll look up in the pantry and see a box of cookies up there and say, “Oh Dad, look at that box of cookies. I wish it wasn’t up there, ‘cause I just feel so tempted every time I see it!” Or sometimes, after she goes to bed, she’ll have to come out to use the bathroom and as soon as her bedroom door opens, I can hear her moan because she smells the popcorn I just made. She’ll hustle out to the living room and say, “Dad, I can’t believe you’re eating popcorn after my bedtime, that just makes me feel so tempted to run over there and get some of it!” Anna can’t stand the injustice of grown-up privileges. The fact that I get to stay up late, eat snacks after dinner or just go to a restaurant with friends occasionally is so frustrating for her! A while back I was trying to get her ready to take a nap she did not want to take and she asked me if I were going to take one. I told her I wasn’t and her face crumpled right up. She huffed and said, “I can’t wait to be a grown-up because when you’re a grown-up you can do whatever you want!”

I laughed and told her that there were many things about being a grown-up she could never understand being a six-year-old. I told her that depsite the way it appears, I can’t do whatever I want. Anna doesn’t understand about bills, taxes, changing interest rates and insurance premiums! she doesn’t know what it’s like to stay up all night with your sick child or watch your best friend endure labor and childbirth! She doesn’t really have deadlines or responsibilities yet. She looks at me and sees a guy who can do whatever he wants and yes, I can have girl-scout cookies for breakfast and no one will put me in time out, but that doesn’t mean I can do whatever I want... there are simply things she can’t understand about me.

I think that sometimes we look at God this way. We look at our lives and the choices He’s made for us and we don’t like it. We figure He can do anything, right? So, why is He making my life so hard? Truth is, there are things about being God we just don’t get, and we’ll never get it! When Job was wondering why in the world all that horrible stuff had happened to him, God showed up and asked Job a question. “Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”

There are just things we don’t get and we can’t understand them because we aren’t Him. We don’t know why He does what He does, but we know He loves us because Jesus died for us! This week I was reading Psalm 119 and read the coolest verse. It’s verse 68, and I want to just hold it up like a banner, covering over everything in this day and everything that happens in it: “You are good and what You do is good.” I don’t know everything because there are things I can’t understand, but I know He loves me, so I’m just going to say, “You’re good!”

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