God, Grandchildren, and Rocking Chairs
The other night, my 18 month old granddaughter Boston had trouble sleeping. Normally, she cries for a few minutes and then falls asleep, but that night her crying was intense and lasted a lot longer. I eventually picked her up and we sat down in a rocking chair and I started singing songs. They happened to be the Greek songs I used to use to teach my students, and they had the desired effect. After two minutes, she relaxed, melted into my chest, and fell sound asleep.
It was an amazing experience that I haven't had since my children were young, and so I kept rocking and singing and enjoying her. She knew she was safe and loved, and that's all she needed.
As I kept singing, I thought about my relationship with the Lord. I know that someday I will be safe in his arms when I hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant." But I would love to feel that right now the same way that Boston feels it. And yet, there is something I can do right now that I wouldn't be able to do in heaven, and that is trust him. I understand theologically that trust will still be part of our relationship with God in heaven, but it'll be trusting in something that we can see. The privilege I have right now is that I can trust in someone I can't see (Heb 1:11), knowing that just as Boston was safe in my arms, so also I am safe in his arms.
Here's a somewhat silly example. We are on vacation in Southern California right now with Tyler and family. We have a house that we have rented the past five years but the management committee made a mistake and we got stuck going to a different house. It's hard because the grandkids have memories of us in the other house. I wish I had responded with trust, thanking the Lord that we had a place to go even though it was different. But when we got down here, it turns out they are doing a ton of construction around the old house and the noise would've been almost unbearable. When the mistake happened, I wish I trusted the Lord so much that I had simply said, "Thank you."
As parents, this is the kind of trust that we long for from our children. They can't possibly know all the variables in life, and when we do something they don't like or don't expect, we wish they would just trust us. How much more so our loving and powerful heavenly Father longs for us to trust him, no matter what. Because after all, we are safe in his arms, whether we feel it or not.