As I watched the child throw himself on the ground to have a tantrum, I remembered my days of “Terrible Twos” with both my boys. I felt great compassion for this parent. Many parents have gone through this very scene with their 2,3,4,5,6… year old. There have been many responses to this situation that I have witnessed as well. I hear parents pleading with their children and trying to negotiate deals. I hear threats and screams. I have also seen parents walk away while still keeping an eye on their child. I have watched as parents wait patiently and watch their child silently, as they carry on.

This particular time, there was more than compassion for the parent, but a deep understanding that was revealed to me, especially with this last response.

Children throw fits because of selfishness, because they don’t know the big picture, because they feel wronged, misunderstood or unloved. Sounds like even as we grow up or even as we mature in our faith, some things don’t change. We can do the same with God.

All of us as parents, try to respond in a way and with hopes, that the tantrum will never happen again. We think that if we can negotiate or threaten or exert our authority with a scream and putting our foot down, that the child will learn and know that they will not get away with this. Yet we all know that it happens again and again, over and over. No matter what way we choose to deal with a tantrum, it does not stop it from reoccurring.

The child throwing the tantrum, made me think about how we as God’s children can have a tendency to do the same thing. When we are not getting what we want, we become like little spoiled children who respond to God in the same matter. We bring ourselves to this place of irrational behaviour and expect God to respond how we want and then decide if He is a good parent, based on His response. As I watched the parents stand around their child and wait in silence, until the fit was completed, I saw protection. I saw sadness. I saw love. I saw God. These parents stood around their child, so that there wouldn’t be any harm caused, like hitting their head on the rack in the store. They showed their sadness so that the child would understand they were hurting too but also that they were aware of how the child felt, even though their decision was made and things were not going to change. When the child was done, they picked the child up and continued on, this was love.

Children throw fits because of selfishness, because they don’t know the big picture, because they feel wronged, misunderstood or unloved. Sounds like even as we grow up or even as we mature in our faith, some things don’t change. We can do the same with God. Children think that what makes a good parent is one that gives them what they want. Yet we who are parents, know that this is not true. We say no because we feel we know what is best. It is not the time. It is not what is needed. It will do more harm than good. They already have this or that. Sometimes, we just don’t want them to have it. Either way, most of our decisions are in the best interest of our children. How much more are God’s choices for us. He knows what is best. He sees what is up ahead. He knows who we are to become and what is needed to shape us and bring the best out of us. He just didn’t want us to have it. It wasn’t His choice for us.

I love how God does what these parents did? He waits patiently for us to come to our senses or for us to just trust Him. He protects us by staying present and guarding what we cannot see that could harm us. He picks us up and holds us in His arms and even carries us to a safer place before putting us down again. He shows us love even though He knows we will do this again.
Do God’s no’s mean He is not good? We know the answer to that question already.
The next time you see a tantrum happening or you are ready to throw one yourself, maybe the picture that spoke to me, will come to your memory. God will always protect us. God always see farther than we can. God always has a plan for us. God will always pick us up. God always loves us. May we grow in trusting His decisions for us. He is a good, good, father!