Lauren and I were looking forward to story time today at the library. Not only was it Leap Day, but the library was celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss. We walked in hand-in-hand with friends, and were greeted by Thing One and Thing Two.
What I wasn’t expecting is that less than 15 minutes later, I would be hauling out a screaming and kicking two-year-old.
Lauren wanted her way, or no way. Her high-pitched screams for a snack while the poor story time librarian was trying to read “The Cat in the Hat”, combined with throwing herself on the ground to emphasize her point, were just some of the high(low)lights.
Instead of getting what she wanted (a snack right there), she got a quick exit from the library. She made sure to voice her displeasure most of the drive home.
We’ve all thrown a fit at some time or another. As adults, we still lose it. We don’t get our way, our buttons are pushed or we just reach our limit to what we think we can handle. We scream, we cry, we shut down, we try to escape. We want what we want, no matter how irrational. It’s not just the two-year-olds.
I’ve seen (and participated) in spiritual tantrums as well. We pray and pray and cry and plead and beg God to intervene or to give us what we are desperate for. And, God does not give us what we want right when we want it. Then when we realize God isn’t immediately responding to our urgency or in the way that we believe is best, our reactions aren’t always pretty. God may have to remove us from the situation, not only for our sake but for the sake of those around us. God knows when enough is enough. He may need to get us alone, one-on-one with Him, until we can settle down and have the heart to listen and receive.
God is good and loves us so much. He brings us through the tantrums and gives us exactly what we need, when we actually need it. He even provides for our wants, though it might not be the timing and circumstances we had intended.
Ultimately, God’s patience will bring us to a place where we are given the opportunity to allow His peace to reign in our hearts. His arms are open wide so when we no longer have the energy to cry one more tear, we can fall into His tender arms and finally rest.
I did end up giving Lauren that snack once we arrived home, as she was hungry. And within half an hour, she was zonked out in her chair in the living room. Throwing a tantrum takes a lot out of a little girl, after all.