“Just as I’m in the process of parenting my children, the Lord is in the process of parenting me.”
I read this quote by Melissa Kruger, a writer with Proverbs 31 Ministries, a few months ago and, as a stay-at-home mom, I can SO relate! Since I have been home with our boys God has been definitely parenting me!
At first, adjusting to being a mom was difficult. But, as our first son got into his toddler years things became a little more manageable. Then, just when I felt like I could handle this parenting thing, God sent baby #2 our way—a complete surprise! Just when I thought I knew it all, I learned I knew NOTHING. And since our second son was born, God has been parenting me OVERTIME!
From infancy, our youngest son, Silas, has strongly disliked having his diaper changed. Each time I change Silas’ diaper it is like taking part in a wrestling match, or some kind of jiu jitsu routine. Our oldest son always gets a kick out of his brother’s “kung-fu skills.” I must confess on some days it’s humorous, but on most days it’s just downright EXHAUSTING! A simple diaper change leaves this mama with muscle aches, soreness, and plain frustration.
One particular afternoon, I was worn out from the day and felt pretty drained, when Silas soiled his pamper.
I took a deep breath and tried to muster up some strength to change him hoping that he would easily comply. I grabbed a little gadget thinking it may keep him distracted while I cleaned him up. It did…for about 2 seconds.
Then, his karate leg kicks began. He squirmed and twisted in all types of directions. I tried hard to pin him down just to get that last wipe in. But, the biggest challenge still lay ahead of me—securely putting a clean diaper on him.
In the middle of it all, I just let out a big huff and said, “Silas, why do you fight me so much?! I’m trying to help you out here and you’re making it difficult for me.”
As I finally sealed his diaper and picked him up, I felt God whisper to me, “Natalie, you fight me just as much.”
Really?! I do, God?
Yes. Yes, you do.
If you’re wondering whether God can use a diaper change for a teachable moment—yes. Yes, He can.
In my previous blog post, I shared how God has my husband and I in a place of waiting on him, being still before Him, and simply trusting in Him.
We’ve been waiting on Him in a particular area where we just need a miracle.
And, externally, I was being still. I said to myself and to others that I was trusting in Him.
If you asked me, I was doing as the bible verses state:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).
Or, at least, I was trying to live this out.
But, God knew—deep down—I wasn’t.
The moment I heard the words, “Be Still,” the internal kung-fu leg kicks began. I didn’t want to be still. I wanted action. I wanted something to happen!
He knew in my heart of hearts, I had a “Plan B” written out. You know – the “back-up” plan. The “this is the plan IF God DOESN’T come through for me.”
I have read Proverbs 3:5-6 hundreds of times, but after having this “parenting” moment with God, I decided to re-read it once more. I realized I had never really taken note of the verse immediately after.
Proverbs 3:7 states: “Do not be wise in your own eyes.”
Deep down, I felt like I knew what was best. Instead of waiting, and relying on God, I was really leaning on my own understanding and my own “wisdom.” I wanted to be in control of my situation instead of truly trusting God.
In my heart’s eyes I was the wise one, with everything planned out just in case God’s plans fell through.
Internally, I was fighting so hard to relinquish total control to God. Because what if He failed?
Sounds foolish and immature, but it’s true.
As I read that one verse, I felt God whisper, “All this time I’m trying to help you out and you’re making it difficult. Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Don’t think you know what’s best. I know what’s best and I’m trying to give you MY best.”
It’s true what the author of Hebrews states about discipline:
“For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose]” (Hebrews 12:11, AMP).
It was tough hearing those things from God. But, I’m glad He took the time out to correct me.
There’s Love in His Discipline.
As a Father who loves His children, God—even in His rebuke—displays His affection towards us.
There’s Hope even in His Discipline.
The end result far outweighs the “parenting moment”.
I want to be in right standing with God, and I truly desire a lifestyle and attitude that seeks His will and purpose above all else. HIS Will over my will. HIS Purpose over my purpose.
Today, I have Hope in His Discipline. I have Hope in the deeper work He’s taking the time to do IN me. And, I have Hope that His Best is really yet to come!