I laid my two month old on her tummy to play. The shrieking and tears began before her stomach even touched her play mat. From the time she was a few days old, this baby despised tummy time.
I hated hearing her shriek in anger, but tummy time was not only good for her, it was necessary. Without it, she would never strengthen her neck and arm muscles. Without it, she would never learn to crawl and then walk.
So, I laid on the mat next to her, nose to nose, rubbing her back. “It’s Ok, sweet one,” I whispered. “I know you hate this, but you need it. I am right here with you.” I began to sing a hymn to her.
Her shrieks grew louder, but so did my hymn. She was too consumed in her anger to realize I was singing over her. She didn’t understand that she needed this and that I kept her in that place out of my love for her.
I couldn’t help but laugh. She was being ridiculous. If only she could understand I was keeping her there for her good, then she would stop being so dramatic. But I also felt compassion for her. I wanted to bring her comfort and wipe away her tears.
Then I laughed harder because the conviction was uncomfortable. She is her mama’s girl for sure.
There are times when God leads me through places of darkness and difficulty. There are seasons of loneliness, regret, financial hardship, depression, and emotional distress. I’ve been angry with God, crying at Him instead of to Him. I’ve been too consumed in whining about my circumstances to realize He is lying right beside me, His nose pressed to mine, whispering words of assurance, and singing over me.
His compassion overflows. He isn’t angry when we whine; If I, an imperfect human mother can laugh and delight in my screaming infant, then surely the Greatest Father in the Universe still delights in His children when we complain. His grace is over-abundant.
But, just as I longed for my sweet baby to relax, trust me, and stop shrieking, so God also longs for something better for us than a life of whining and complaining. I’m not talking about fake compliance-the kind we feign because we know it’s wrong to grumble. I’m talking about a life of freedom-where we know the One Who holds us and we are free to carry all our sadness, hurt, and anger to Him with words of trust instead of complaint.
We become freer as we know God deeper. Our knowledge grows deeper as we exercise our faith muscles. We exercise our faith muscles through hard circumstances. Through the tears, and the pain, and the grumbling, can you hear His still, quiet voice singing over you today?