We were boarding our second flight. We had been gone for a week, and while we were greatly blessed by time alone, my husband and I were ready to see the faces we love most in this world, our children. It was “stupid” early in the morning and I was about to turn my phone off and fall into the travel coma that was beckoning my body. The vibration startled me because I couldn’t imagine who would be calling at 5am—but factoring in the time change—it made perfect sense.
The voice on the other line complained to me, through tears, about how he couldn’t go to school that morning. He had been sent home on Wednesday, so no school on Thursday was simply following protocol. But this was Friday. I used my best firm voice to encourage, rather insist, that he do what I was asking him (thousands of miles away isn’t highly effective). When that flight landed, and we had one more, I checked my phone only to learn he had not, in fact, gone to school.
Our two older children were quite disgruntled about the situation and they held nothing back when sharing (via text). They told me things like:
- “he should be punished”
- “he gets away with everything”
- “he’s not even sick, mom”
They questioned me, even as we finally entered our house, about the suggested punishment.
It didn’t occur to me, until sometime later, how much I behave that way with God. I am that nagging child expressing to Almighty, Omnipotent God how He should handle situations with His children. I say things like:
- “Don’t let them get away with that, God”
- “They don’t even honor you with their life”
- “So and so should be punished for such and such”
Maybe you know what I mean. Maybe you “help” God, or give advice like I am so often guilty of doing. It seems stupid, arrogant, and even embarrassing to say aloud. Why don’t we go ahead and fire ourselves from such “justice league” roles? While our efforts probably provide a heavenly chuckle—they are unnecessary.
As a mom—I am well aware of my children’s struggles. No one ever needs to point them out. I’m so closely connected to their lives that I’ve seen the challenges emerge and-at times-grow out of hand. As soon as I had a hint of what was happening on that early morning phone call, I began thinking of how I would deal with the situation —in due time. Not over the phone, thousands of miles away-at an unnatural hour of the day.
How much more so with God?
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:5
The Almighty—we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. Job 37:23
I didn’t need the punishment advice from my children. He doesn’t either.
Let’s choose to accept the pink slip and rest in being fired from such an unnecessary role. Let’s lay down the weapons of revenge, the bitterness of an “unnoticed” wrong, and the anger of injustice. Let’s take comfort in knowing He sees, He hears, and He WILL have the final say.
Our hope is in His understanding…hold on to that today—it’s much lighter than the load of anger and vengeance!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”