Saturday, January 25, 2014

Our Father

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a perfect parent?

Not a house-always-perfectly-clean-and-organized, amazing-meal-making, perfect-party-throwing Pinterest parent (not to mention perfect abs, always using the right essential oils, and brewing my own kombucha -- oops, are my insecurities showing?). No, I mean in a deeper, always-knowing-just-what-your-child-needs-and-being-able-to-provide-it-for-them way.

I was telling HH the other day (Handsome Husband, if you've forgotten the reference, which I persist in using because I think he likes it) that parenting brings out insecurities in me like I couldn't have imagined. I am constantly second-guessing myself, especially where my babies' well-being is concerned (I was telling him this while we were driving around Hawaii in the pouring rain with nowhere to go while E screamed her head off in the back seat, and we had no idea how to help her). Do they need discipline right now or a hug? Am I being too strict? Too lenient? Is she screaming because she's tired, hungry, angry, scared, or all four? Is she tugging on her ear because she has an ear infection or because she's a goofy one year old? Does she scream that way during diaper changes because she has some sort of infection, or is she just being a punk? Does that cough warrant a trip to the doctor? When my three year old complains of stomach aches, is he just hungry, car sick, or does he gastrointestinal issues? These are just everyday worries from the last three days, not those of a fellow mom whose daughter is perched precariously on a ledge called "remission," in which every little rash or cough warrants a trip to the doctor. But I still worry about my precious charges, because I don't know.

To not know is human, to know is divine.

Of course, God created us in his image and we "know" by thinking God's thoughts after him. He made us to learn and discover the world that he made with just a thought. We know because he knew first, and eternity will be spent growing to know more of him and his creation. But we will never know like God. We will never know everything, and we will never even know enough to manage or control our world, not in the way a parent would like to, anyway. (Obviously this applies to everyone, but let's focus on parenthood for brevity, since that's what I know.)

What would it be like to know exactly what was wrong with a child, and to know perfectly how (and when) to fix it? I would be so much more relaxed as a parent. Calm in the face of their distress, confident in dealing with it. Always loving and gentle, even when I needed to be firm or to administer a painful remedy. Careful in dispensing medicine but determined that it do its job.

You surely see where I'm going here, that God is the perfect Father to us all, and this is how he deals with us?

But how does that impact my own imperfect parenting? Because God is their perfect Father, too. Even as I muddle through in all my not-knowing, He knows, and he will perfectly take care of us both.

I have a maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And he hears me when I call

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