Friday, January 30, 2009

What My Son Teaches Me About being a child of God

For some reason today was not a good day for Jonathan. He was grouchy and difficult to please. Best exemplified at lunch today. After he woke up from his morning nap we trekked downstairs for lunch. I sat him in his high chair and he immediately began to cry. So I grabbed some cheese and broke it into pieces. The cheese, however, was not what he wanted. No matter how delectable it usually is, today it was not right. And crying began again. So I tried crackers. He ate one and then began to cry again. (This was not the usual whining. There were real tears). So we tried a drink. No. Then another cracker. That seem to work momentarily. But it was obvious it was not really what he wanted. We tried several other things. Some he ate, but some he did not. But regardless there was no satisfaction. I was cutting an apple for myself, so I cut some up into bite sized pieces for him, and he wouldn't touch them. So in an attempt to eat my own lunch in peace, I get him out of his high chair hoping freedom was what he sought. No. He stood at the edge of the table next to me, reaching fervently a seemingly randomly. I tried to guess-I handed him his cup, no. I handed him other objects on the table. Not right either. It was obvious his lack of language skills were making this even more difficult. Finally, I realized he wanted my apple slice. I gave it to him, knowing that a whole apple slice would be difficult for him to manage. He went away happy (notice strong parallels to The Giving Tree--my favorite book EVER). Until he saw me eating pudding. He came back with the entire apple slice chewed up in his mouth trying to eat pudding. So here he was standing under me face tilted up, mouth so full of apple he could barely open it, crying for pudding. Naturally he choked on the apple. I swiped some of it out, but it wasn't enough and he gagged and up came the apple slice and the crackers he ate earlier, into my hand. Which I then proceeded to dump onto my mostly empty lunch plate. joy :) Frightened he began to cry. So I jumped up to get a cloth to wipe his face. Then I picked him up and held him and talked to him--he quickly stopped crying and flashed that heart-melting grin.
So here's my point. Remarkably, I found myself in a great place mentally and emotionally as all of this was taking place. While my frustration was mounting, I wasn't angry nor did I yell. In fact, I pitied my poor son who was unable to decide or communicate what he wanted and so desperately wanted to give him what it is that he wanted.
As my son looked up at me with his face full of apple crying for more. Thinking of all I had already given him, I suddenly realized how God must feel so often when He deals with me. Countless times I have stood at the feet of my Father whining for this or that, only to find that when I received it, it left me completely dissatisfied. Leaving me whining for something else further disabled by my mastery (debatable) of only one language. My face crammed full of blessings begging for more, until I choke. Finally realizing that simply all I want and all I have ever wanted was more of Him, to be in His arms.
The parallels are many. But most poignant, was the realization that when I am acting this way God so desperately wants to make me happy. He is not angry, frustrated-maybe, but patient. Not that the God of the Universe needs my approval, He simply loves us so much that he longs to bless us. He, however, is perfect and knows my needs better than I. It made me think of all the times he gave the Israelites what they begged for even when he knew they would soon want something else (a king, deliverance from slavery, return from exile, rebuilding the city, a savior). It seems that the answer may not be what else can I get, but to be so grateful for what I have, and ask what am I to do with it?


Annie said...

Thank you for sharing! What a great parallel. Way to go, Jonathan...

Amber said...

"It seems that the answer may not be what else can I get, but to be so grateful for what I have, and ask what am I to do with it?"

I love this. Do you know that I appreciate you? :)