Friday night Baby Girl was fighting me. She was overtired from a busy week that included too many late nights for a two-year-old. She was exhausted, and in full-on tantrum mode. As she screamed maniacally and stiffened her tiny little body into a board-like state, Jersey Boy and I wrestled on her pink polka-dotted jammies. She clenched her wee fists, face ablaze in a crimson hue, and pushed away our tender hands as we attempted to dress and soothe her.
Through her wild thrashing, we firmly held her close, gently reassuring her, “You’re just super sleepy, sweet girl. Let Mommy and Daddy put on your PJ’s and you’ll feel better in the morning. We love you so much. Don’t cry. Shhhhhhhh…”
I gently pushed back her hair. It was wet and sticky with hot tears and snot, and looked terribly uncomfortable plastered to her sweet little face. But just as soon as I removed the caked tendrils, she angrily reached for her hair, and pulled it right back over her eyes. Stubborn and angry, she resisted even my best attempts to soothe her.
In that moment, as her parents, Jersey Boy and I knew what she needed – pajamas, comfort, and her bed. She was just too upset to understand.
There in her darkened baby girl room, with glittery turquoise butterflies floating above our heads, and favorite baby dolls already asleep in their beds, I couldn’t help but think about how often I fight God in the exact same way.
How often am I like an exhausted toddler, angrily thrashing, snot in my hair, pulling away from the very hands from which I receive comfort?
How often do I scream and kick, clenching my hands into fists, rather than extending my fingers to the one who made them?
If God is my Father, and I am his child (as the Scriptures tell me is so), how often does he firmly hold me close, showing me love and tenderness, even as I resist his embrace, and stubbornly rail against that which is best for me?
When I find myself close to full-on tantrum mode…tired and angry, and sick of being pummeled by the storms of life (which will invariably batter us all), I am reminded of a great truth.
God is sovereign.
This means that the God of the Bible (three persons in one – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has supreme power and authority over everything. He brought this world and all that is in it into being. It is all his handiwork, and his will reigns supreme in all ways, big and small.
“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).
Scripture teaches us that God’s supreme authority is interwoven with his character. He is a holy God, full of love, mercy, goodness, righteousness and faithfulness.
“The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness’” (Exodus 34:6).
He is a good God, and his sovereignty can be relied upon and trusted. He has a plan for all of eternity, and that includes a plan for me. As his child, he intends good for me. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
So I find great comfort in God’s sovereignty. It means that when I’m overtired from a week of service to my family, or a storm of life gets the best of me, and I want to clench my fists and scream like an angry two-year-old railing against her parent, God is not surprised by my tantrum. When I resist God’s plan, and angrily pull my hair back over my eyes like a stubborn toddler, he knows what I’m feeling. And as my Father, he knows what I need, even when I’m too upset to understand.
Thank you for your sovereignty over all things in my life. Thank you for loving me and comforting me like a patient parent tenderly soothes an exhausted toddler. You are a good God, and you want good for me, even when I’m too upset to understand. I am so thankful that I am yours.
In Jesus’ name,