Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. –Psalm 44:23-24 (NIV)
The sting of my toddler’s harsh words sparked tears I held back until exiting her bedroom.
Her frustration from not getting her way resulted in a tantrum where she declared, “I don’t like you, I don’t love you, and I want you to live in a different house.”
After calmly asking her to lie down and take a nap, I laced up my running shoes, grabbed my phone, and headed out the door while notifying my husband I’d return soon.
I hoped a jog around the neighborhood and some fresh air would clear my mind and calm my thoughts.
As one foot pounded in front of the other, waves of disappointment broke loose. Although she was only a four-year-old kid, her behavior hurt me.
Mean words were hard to hear, especially when I considered everything I did to show her love. “This must be parenting,” I thought to myself.
And then it dawned on me – this was indeed parenting. Children learning their boundaries and limits are rarely kind.
The more I reflected over the thought, the quicker my hurt and anger faded away.
When I got home and she awoke from her nap, we hugged and I told her, “It’s not OK to yell and say mean things to Mama, but I still love you, and I’m not going anywhere.”
Throwing fits at God
While on my jog, I realized what my daughter did to me, I do to my Heavenly Father as His daughter. Although I’m an adult, I can spiritually treat God the same way.
As children of God, it’s natural to experience the same emotions as kids, especially when we don’t get our way, in our timing. We want to throw a fit.
It may be much quieter than our children’s fits and take place in our hearts, but it’s still a fit. We can react naively when we don’t see the bigger picture.
Sometimes we doubt and question God, threatening our trust and love.
We get angry at God.
Or, we stop praying and reading God’s Word all together, taking steps to do life without Him.
Fortunately, God’s a loving father with a lot of experience. As only He can do, He welcomes our fits because He knows what’s on the other side of them.
In the Psalms, David doesn’t hold back sharing about God forsaking him. Job doesn’t curse God, but he “complains in the bitterness of [his] soul.”
These men, as well as many other brothers and sisters throughout the years, found a loving father on the other side of their fits who came with a perfect response – a response passed on to you and me:
I love you, I am for you, and I will never leave you.
Lord, give me the courage to act like a child in front of you and stay open about how I feel, but also the humility to accept you’re my Father and you love me.
Do you realize that God can handle you? In your highest of highs and lowest of lows, He will never retaliate or leave because of what you say. Let Him know how you feel – the good and the bad. The nice and the mean. Throw a fit before God – He can take it. And then, step back and look at what came out of your heart. Be still and let Him speak to you about it.