restraint

Our family has been through a lot lately. I am not making this statement to garner sympathy or to earn a badge of honor, but rather to set the stage. Our recent drama has had an effect on all of is, but probably the greatest effect on our five year old Jonas. He has had to navigate emotions and situations that I as an adult of almost thirty five years have not even had to navigate until now. And the result of all of this? All of a sudden I am that parent…the one checking on their kid every five minutes. The one measuring his mood and emotions non-stop to make sure he is ok. I am now even the one who is constantly worrying about how other kids are treating him when I am not around. And I understand why. I want to do everything in my power to keep him from experiencing any more loss, rejection, or pain. And to keep myself from interfering takes an unbearable amount of restraint at times.

So I think about God. And I can’t help but apply the paternal role to Him. After all, we are taught to pray, ‘Our Father’. And if I apply that I can only imagine that the love that I have for my own children is infinitely small compared to the love God has for us. And so I know he has to have some of the same feelings in thinking about our well-being, our interactions with each other and the times where we hurt one another. And then I read a verse like this popular one from Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” In all things God works for the good? He restrains himself to let us work things out?

In my heart of hearts I know that I have to let my son go. I have to let him work through new relationships, friendships and the like. I even have to let him get hurt again because I know that he becomes a full person in me giving him this trust and confidence. And maybe that is what God has for us. He trusts us. He sees the full potential we have for love and so He sets us free to live into His purpose. I just think about all the restraint and love wrapped up into that singular action and I am blown away. May we learn to live into God’s trust for us and so model the love He has poured out on our behalf.

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