The song Good, Good Father always hits me differently on the Sundays we sing it, depending on my mood and where my head is that day. There are days I've felt so appreciative of God. I've been able to proclaim loudly "You're a good, good father. It's who you are and I'm loved by You!" I can say and sing those words with confidence. Everything in my life is falling into place and I can see His hand at work. It's easy to believe He's a good, good Father on those days.
On other days, when I feel like I've been cut off at the knees, it's harder to say those words with as much confidence. Every step I take feels like I'm stepping deeper and deeper into quicksand. I'm sinking fast. I can't understand why a good, good father would allow his child to sink, despite their cries for help. I'm gasping for air. Am I really loved by You, Lord? I love my kids and I couldn't watch them slip away without doing everything in my power to save them. It's harder to keep singing "You are perfect in all of your ways" on days like this.
No matter where I am, however, He IS perfect in all of his ways. Isaiah 55:8 says, "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,' says the Lord, 'and My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." He knows things we don't. He understands things we don't understand, so when our prayers aren't answered in the ways we would want them to be answered, we have to believe that "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." (Romans 8:28) It's during these hard times that we need to trust Him and lean into Him more, claiming that He IS a good, good Father and we ARE loved by Him. It's who He is and it's who we are. During these times, I've seen my faith grow the most, when I've clung to Him when I understood him the least.
If Zane wanted to sit down and play where I knew there were fire ants, he might get mad at me when I wouldn't let him. He might not be too eager to think that I was a great mom because he wouldn't know why I wouldn't let him play there. He might throw a fit and refuse to talk to me. He might beg and plead. I, most likely would lead him to a different spot to play and he would eventually be happy with his location, even though it's not where he thought he needed to be. or in his timing. Who knows, maybe he would walk by where he wanted to play and see the ants at some point and understand that I wasn't saying no to be mean, I was saying no for his protection. I had more information than he did. I saw the big picture that he couldn't see. I said no because I love him. Yes, I could have let him sit in the ants, but why would I do that when there is a better place to sit, away from the ants?
If Mia wanted to stay in her room all summer on her phone, and never come out and see the daylight, I would know that's not in her best interest. Sure, that might be what she wanted, but knowing statistics on what happens to a person who stares at a tiny screen all day, mixed with the lack of sunshine and interaction with people would lead me to have to tell her no. She might not like that answer. She might think I'm not such a great mom when I had to tell her to put her phone away, but I do know what's best for her and that is what I want for her. In the long run, she would understand as well. Yes, I could give her what she wanted. I could let her stay on her phone all day and that would make her happy in the short term, but that's not what would be best for her.
When Hayley has a problem with a teacher or class at school, I've had to let her deal with it. She has to learn to deal with people and difficult situations. Can she come to me for advice? Absolutely. Can she tell me her worries and fears? Of course. That's what I'm here for, but if I saved her from every situation, when she was older and came across harder situations, she would never know how to deal with those because she never learned how to deal with the smaller ones on her own. Yes, I could step in and do it all for her. I could probably make the whole problem disappear for her and make her happy, but what would she learn?
Sometimes we are being protected. Sometimes we are getting what we need, though it's not what we want. Sometimes we are having to learn to do things that will prepare us for the future. He says no because He loves us. He says no to protect us. He says no to prepare us. We have to understand that He makes all things work together for our good. Not our timing. Not our plans. His. No matter what, He's there every step of the way, cheering us on. He IS a good, good Father.