Comfort in the Tug of War

 

But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6

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Sometimes, we just have one of those days. One of those days when our emotions just take us over. Days when we feel confused, just a bit agitated, and a tad bit “off.” Those days when we don’t know whether to sulk or scream. Those days when we just want to cry out to God, to ask Him, Why?

“My God, my God why have you have abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help?” Psalm 22:1

Today was one of those days for me, and it was yet another one of those days for my darling, Hunter too. As an overly agitated, slightly off parent of an overly agitated, slightly off preschooler knows, the combination of the two of you after a rough day does not make for a harmonious union, and can make a mom wonder where to find God in a time like this.

Help me, God…please, help me!

Picture the tug of war that is usually a part of most elementary school field days. Instead, this time we have Mommy on one end of this emotional rope, and Hunter on the other; tugging and pulling until one finally decides he or she isn’t strong enough and decides to let go.

Usually me, a defeated mess of a mother, in a crumpled heap on a cold bathroom floor. Usually him, a screaming mess, in a crumpled heap, in a dark bedroom.

Until, I hear a little voice in the dark: “Mommy, I’m scared. I’m scared. Come help me!”

Until I hear that still small voice: “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you” Isaiah 31:13.

But, I am afraid I can’t handle these meltdowns. “You can do all things through my strength, January” (Phil 4:13)

But, I am afraid that I just can’t get through to this kid. “I will instruct you and teach you, January” (Psalm 32:8).

I am afraid, Lord…I am afraid, too. “But, my rod and my staff will comfort and protect you” (Psalm 23:4).

And he does, he comforts me, as I pick up my scared, emotional little boy, as I rub his tiny back, and squeeze him tight. As I tell him: “Hunter, Mommy is here. It is alright. I am here, and I love you.”

And isn’t it comforting to know that when we feel “off,” lonely, or scared, God stretches out His own loving arms, whispers in our ears, and tells us: “My, child. I love you. I am here. Do not be afraid.”

I am sure there will be many more games of tug of war played in this home, along with many more emotional battles, but I am comforted in knowing that it is alright to drop the rope, to admit that I am not strong enough, and to cry out to the Lord for help-and then to reach down and comfort my child again and again, in the same way He reaches down to comfort me.

 

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