Our precious little daughter Lucy has been home with us for over a week now. I have been suffering from severe fits of cute aggression (a real thing- look it up on Wikipedia!).
Amidst the adventures of new-parent-anxieties and sleep deprivation, one of the many delightful things I’ve noticed about her is the way that she loves using her hands. Even though she has very few motor skills at the moment, she always seems to get her hands around (and in the way of) whatever she is trying to nurse on. I can’t help but laugh every time as I unsuccessfully try to explain to her that she is actually making things harder on herself.
What a vivid picture of the way we often interact with God.
How have we as a church responded to the calamity we’ve seen in 2020? When confronted with a negative experience, do we frantically wave our hands about, trying to resolve our problems on our own strength and capability? Meanwhile, God is present, knows our needs, and knows how to care for us. But we insist on making things harder.
What does our flailing about accomplish? Does it give us more of a sense of control? Do we not trust God? Are we seeking to save ourselves through our own righteousness?
As I ponder Eric’s message on Joel and the call to lament, I think of my daughter. I speak gently to her. “Yes, dear sweet girl, life is hard. And you are hungry. And you think you know how to take care of yourself. But we are here and we love you and we are taking care of you. And we want to hear you lament!”
I am guilty of stressing out about COVID too much. I constantly worry about whether the standards we are trying to set are too strict or too loose. I obsessively scroll through my Facebook feed, looking for answers to all the problems we are facing. I fret and fret… Yet I completely skipped past the lamenting stage.
Lord Jesus, this season is difficult. It is sad. I want my daughter to get to see her grandparents. I want my brothers to get to spend time around their niece. I want to go spend time in-person with my pilgrim group. I want to go to the grocery store without it being a big event.
And, I want to sit in your steadfast love and know that you are good. And not try to make the pain go away immediately.