The Patient Parent

I waited in a grocery store checkout line this evening behind a mom with her three-year-old little girl. Mom was getting frustrated as her little one kept trying to put the food on the conveyor belt. For some unknown reason Mom was trying to stop her from helping and the more she tried to stop her the more the little girl insisted on helping. I could see frustration mounting and when the mother looked at me as if to apologize for the headstrong child I said, “Mom, she only wants to help.” At which point the mother stepped back and allowed the little girl to do the job.

“Ah,” I thought, “how many times do we frustrate God with our insistent efforts to help in important events?”

There are a host of things each day God could do better than we do but He is a patient parent. He steps back and allows us bungle our way along. It really is the only way we can grow. Real learning comes by doing. We can watch someone do something but we never really learn until we put our hand to the task. Of course God knows that. He made us that way. He designed and built us to learn by experience. He even allows us to fail hoping we will keep on trying until we are successful. He sends the Holy Spirit not to do the work but to aid us.

“I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” Philippians 1:19

Written by Roger Bothwell on October 7, 2006
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453