Love in the Time of Temper Tantrums

I nanny for a living. I watch the most precious 2 year old little girl (since she was 7 weeks old), I adore her. I am positively enchanted with her. She is so funny and sweet and lovable. She is my mockingbird, my sidekick, my cuddle buddy…she’s also a sinner. A tiny sinner, packaged in rosy cheeks and the cutest pig tails this side of the Mississippi.

I was reminded of her sinner status last Friday morning when “C” threw her biggest fit to date (the terrible twos are upon us). You see, “C” has a whining problem. I’m trying to break her of it. So, when she asked me for milk in a near crying voice, I asked her to try asking again without whining. She freaked. As I held this tiny, sobbing, screaming sinner my heart was breaking. As I wiped the snot from her nose and the tears from her eyes, I was near to tears myself. As I calmly and gently tried to explain to her why I wasn’t giving into her reasonable request for milk, I was wishing that her two year old self could comprehend the wisdom and the all consuming love behind my disciplining her. But, she’s a two year old, so instead of waiting for her to have an epiphany of sorts I decided to put her down for a nap.

All too often, I act like “C”, I flip out and jump straight to sobbing and asking God why. Why would He withhold marriage from me and give it to {insert name}? Why do I have to watch my budget when {insert name} buys whatever they want whenever they want? Why does my future feel so uncertain when {insert name} has the seemingly perfect plan that just keeps falling into place? I do this until I’m rife with confusion and insecurity in who I am. I look inwardly when I should be looking to my Heavenly Father.

My Heavenly Father takes no pleasure in seeing my aching heart or flowing tears. He feels no vindication in my confusion, no satisfaction in my insecurity. But, God will cause me to wait, cause me to have trials, cause me to ultimately look to Him, the author and perfecter of my faith. And He does all of this because I am His daughter and He loves me with an everlasting, perfect, constant love that I cannot comprehend. To give me anything less than what is absolutely best for me is outside of God’s character, it is an impossibility.

I may not know the details of God’s plan for my life. I may not understand the different chapters and changes in my life, but I can trust that God is working all things for my good and His glory. I can recall who God is. I can see His mercy, love, and faithfulness throughout my life. God brings something out of nothing, He takes filthy sinners and clothes them with Christ’s righteousness.

And with this knowledge I can respond to His love with the posture of a two year old, throwing myself into His waiting arms and trusting Him with my whole heart.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” –Ephesians 3:14-19