Have you ever seen those pictures on the internet of a child throwing a temper tantrum? It’s usually a picture of a screaming child with a caption like, “I wouldn’t let him eat his sock” or “She’s mad she can’t fit in the cat’s bed.” Young children can’t process the necessity of complex (or even simple) boundaries. Do you find yourself in the child’s shoes with God? When God says no do you ever find yourself in the middle of a temper tantrum?
We all have had moments of anger or frustration when things did not go our way. We start to question why things happen the way they do and we may even begin to question God. We think to ourselves, while secretly yelling at God, “I needed that job, why didn’t you give it to me!” Or, we experience heartbreak over a relationship and beg God to bring them back, or we curse him for making us feel this way.
I think our lives would be a lot easier if we all had God’s perspective. Like a parent protecting their toddler from eating their own sock, God protects us from pain by saying both yes and no. We just don’t like to hear it. When God says no to a job we don’t often look at it from his view. Perhaps someone else needed that job more than me, perhaps something better is coming along, perhaps that job would have caused pain in the future. We don’t know the answer to the question of why, and that’s ok. A toddler doesn’t understand eating his sock will hurt him all he hears is “no.” The loving parent doesn’t sit the toddler down to explain the anatomy of the stomach or teach them the fabrics and dyes used in making the sock. The parent says no, removes the sock, and loves the toddlers despite the ear-piercing tantrum.
We often find ourselves demanding an explanation from God on why he says no. Or worse, we convince ourselves his no is actually a wait, try again, do it anyways, or go for it full steam!
Like a toddler, we can’t comprehend the wisdom of our Father. God knows what we need, he removes the danger and loves us. He doesn’t have to explain himself nor does he need to change his mind. He simply takes charge of the situation with His will in mind.
The next time you find yourself in a temper tantrum with God, accept the no for no. Pray through it, wrestle with it, and then accept it. Oh, and do what any parent would recommend, take a nap.
Nicki Rockwell is the youth pastor at Countryside Free Methodist Church in Sandusky, MI. She graduated from Spring Arbor University in 2012 with her Bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry and Psychology. Nicki joined the Countryside staff in 2014 after serving in youth ministry for 6 years. Nicki’s goal as the youth pastor is to connect with students and direct them towards an intimate relationship with Christ. You can read more at her blog Nicki’s Notes.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.