It is no secret that children ask a LOT of questions- especially four-year-olds, apparently. John peppers me daily with questions from the moment he gets up, and it seems that for every answer I give, about five more questions follow.
Sometimes he even repeats my answer as a question. "Mom, what are you doing?" he will ask. "I'm washing dishes," I will say. "Mom, are you washing dishes?" he repeats, followed by "Why? Is it because they're dirty? Is it because we ate off of them? Did Grandpa eat with us today? Will he eat with us tomorrow? What are we going to eat? Do we need to go to the store? What store? When? What do we need to buy? How many?" and so forth.
I know this is how children learn. Their little minds are curious about everything and they soak up so much at this early age. They also take comfort in knowing what to expect, so they ask a lot of questions about what is happening, what is about to happen, what the reason is, and what to do about it.
Sometimes, though, this can be quite taxing. One day in particular, John was asking a lot of "then what" and "why" type questions, and it was a bit more than my patience could handle. Exasperated, I said to him, "John, please stop asking me questions and just do what I tell you. Go about your day, take one thing at a time, and live your life. I know all the things you need and I will take care of you. I know what I'm doing and you don't need to know why. Trust me, I've got this."
That's when it hit me: Do I do this...to God?
Our children are, in many ways, reflections of ourselves. Just like John, I like to know what to expect. I'm naturally a planner, a list-maker, so knowing what I'm going into and preparing for it (and all possible related scenarios) is how I operate. I do not like uncertainties, surprises, or changes in plans.
However, wisely preparing is one thing; fretting and worrying is quite another. I found that I had fallen into doing the latter. I realized that I had been asking a lot of "whys" in regard to the present, and "what ifs" in regard to the future. "Why is this happening? What if this happens? Then what?" I was stressing over the unknown.
My reply to John was exactly what I needed for myself. Just as I care for John and will provide for his needs, so does my heavenly Father care for and provide for me. I don't mean that we shouldn't ever ask any questions (we should always seek God's guidance!), but I don't need to know all the answers all the time; I must walk by faith and carry on doing the work He has given me. "Trust and obey," as the hymn goes. He will guide me into whatever He has planned for me, and whatever He orchestrates will be for my good (Romans 8:28). I may in time see the reason for things, or I may not, but I may wholly, safely, confidently put my trust in Him. I need not know what tomorrow holds, for I know the One who holds tomorrow.
What blessed peace there is in that.
Lovely post, Kelsey. This really struck a chord with me; like you, I'm a planner, and don't love change, except when I am in charge of it (i.e. I "plan" it). :) These last couple of years have been one big, fat lesson for me in trust and faith; patience; and in giving up perceived control over things. Here's where the "do the next (right) thing" saying from Elisabeth Elliot (that Annabel has mentioned so many times) really helps, which is essentially what you told John! Your analogy really strikes home. I wonder just how many of us have gone through intense deepening of faith in recent months?ReplyDelete
Thanks for your lovely post!
Jen in NS
Jen, those are my sentiments exactly. It looks like we have been learning the same lesson. I agree that "do the next thing" really helps. I have thought of that phrase many times these past few years, as well!Delete
I couldn't agree more with Jen's comment. These have been years of learning to trust, learning to be humble and to trust ONLY in God. Learning not to expect from other people, what ONLY God can give me and going back to that first love that the Bible talks about.ReplyDelete
Thank you for letting God use you and have a blessed week, Kelsey!
Thank you for your lovely comment, Paula. It looks like several of us have been learning these lessons. I'm thankful that God has been kind enough to teach us. There has been lots of letting go and surrendering on my end, that is for sure!Delete
Dear Kelsey, I needed to hear this today, thankyou for writing this post. I have been too caught up in the whys and what ifs, lately. Thankyou for the reminder to leave what I cannot control in God's Hands. Clare in Australia.ReplyDelete
Clare, it can be so easy to get caught up, can't it? I'm glad this post was a blessing to you. Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to comment.Delete