Don’t Waste the Tantrum
"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
I woke up in a bed of wetness. My 3-year-old daughter had climbed into our bed in the early morning hours and had an accident. Had this been the only trial that day, I might’ve been unaffected. However, this was followed by a tantrum at breakfast that left a bowlful of cereal and milk all over the kitchen floor.
I’d like to think that I could’ve even held back the tears at this point, but the entire day unraveled. My girl screamed at the top of her little toddler lungs over clothing selections, then threw up in her newly-washed car seat. That, coupled with a crying, hungry baby, left me no option but to call and cancel on a friend whom I was suppose to meet that morning.
Instead of meeting my friend, I sat on the princess-dress covered floor of my toddler’s room and cried.
That was one of the most challenging weeks I have faced as a mom. But it was also that week that I found myself being incredibly grateful as Jesus gently steered my focus back to Himself.
That day, everything in my flesh wanted to run away and come back only when my daughter had outgrown this trying phase.
But as I sat there crying on her bedroom floor, with her crying next to me, through the power of the Holy Spirit alone, I whispered, "Thank you, God."
It felt so unnatural to thank God as my daughter laid an arm’s length away screaming and flailing, but in that moment God reminded me that when I feel utterly out of control and frustrated to my core, He is there, and He is good.
In our key verse today, Paul gently reminds us that our suffering, whatever that looks like in our lives, is not just for the sake of suffering. There is purpose in it and that purpose is to produce endurance, character and hope!
Too often, I think of relying on God’s strength as though it needs to be saved for the big things, like death or crisis moments. But how foolish I am to think I could face any trial without His strength.
I have found that it is easy to hold my breath and wait for trials to pass or wait for the storm to settle. But yet in the quietness of my soul, God gently reminds me not to waste this moment, this tantrum, because in it, God is teaching me something great. That no matter what comes my way, He is good. He is sovereign. He is all I need. And that is a beautiful hope!
Dear God, would You show me in the depths of my hearts that I need You every hour? As I navigate the ups and downs of life, give me the assurance that You will use, everything for Your divine purpose. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (ESV)
Hebrews 4:14-16, "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (ESV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is an area of your life that you try to handle on your own strength?
Confess your desire to control things and handle them on your own and pray for strength to surrender that thing to Jesus.