A few months ago I read this quote by Melissa Kruger in a devotional post from Proverbs 31 Ministries 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 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 one 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.
At the time, God had my husband and I in a place of waiting on Him, being still before Him, and simply trusting in Him.
We had been waiting on Him in a particular area where we just needed 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 chose to lean 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”.
Have you had any moments like these? I’d love to hear from you –
What lessons has God showed you as you mother your children?
Have there been moments when He’s parented you, as you’re parenting your kids?