“Don’t you want to feel better?” I asked my daughter.
She nodded her head.
“This will help…please take it,” I pleaded.
I held up the medicine cup filled with a cherry-flavored pain reliever (every child’s favorite, right?) and my daughter burst into tears. If eyes could speak, hers were telling me, “That’s a hard pass, Mom.”
My words and encouragement didn’t matter. The logic and explanation of how the medicine would help her heal and take the pain away didn’t matter. All she could see was five milliliters of “yuck” in my hand.
I could feel the frustration rising within me. I have the answer to what she needs, but she won’t let me help her.
“Ok, ok…fine,” I resigned. “Let’s just lay down and rest instead.”
She laid down. I laid down next to her. And after a few minutes of stroking her hair and whispering a quiet prayer over her, she fell asleep.
Now before you go and issue me the “good parent” award, let me be very clear. I felt like anything but a good parent. When I could see that gentle encouragement was getting us nowhere, I did a hard pivot into “boot-camp Mom” mode and began to yell like a drill sergeant. As I did that, a ticker tape of curse words was looping through my head nonstop and it took every ounce of my self-control not to mutter them out loud.
I was feeling overwhelmed. Desperate. Angry. Sad. Defeated. More tears ensued…hers and mine. In retrospect, boot-camp Mom is probably never a good idea.
This, of course, all took place before gentle Mom took back the reins and told everyone to lie down and rest. In the aftermath of that battle…as I lay in the dark next to my sleeping daughter…a question entered my mind:
“I wonder if this is how God feels about me sometimes?”
I come to Him hurting and He offers a solution. I tearfully refuse. Maybe there’s another way I think, because right now all I can see is the “yuck.”
But instead of getting frustrated or angry, He softly pivots. He meets us where we are.
“Ok,” He tells me. “Let’s just lay down and rest instead.”
He stays by my side, strokes my hair, and prays over me. He is patient. He is kind. He keeps on loving me—even when I don’t understand or I’m too emotionally overwhelmed to see the value of what He’s offering.
Two hours later, my daughter woke up…but this time, she was ready. She took a tiny sip of the medicine and her eyes opened wide.
“This tastes like pancake syrup with sugar crystals in it!” she said with a grin.
The “yuck” that she had feared now tasted like the best breakfast of her life.
Friend, that’s my prayer for us today—that whenever God offers us an answer or a remedy for our circumstances or situation, that we’re brave enough to trust the Giver. Not ready? That’s ok, too. He’ll wait for us.
Because in my humble experience, when we are finally ready to accept His help, we’ll come to realize that what we feared was “yuck” wasn’t nearly as bad as what we thought it would be.
In fact, it just might be the best tasting breakfast of our lives.