On Pitching Fits

One night a few years ago as I was up for the fifth time with one of my daughters. Sleep seemed more than elusive for our household!

My oldest daughter pitched a fit worthy of an academy award the previous night night when we announced bedtime. We are used to getting the usual chorus of, “I don’t want to go to bed!” However that night seemed to reach a new level. I reminded her that fits don’t help; they only cause more problems, but it didn’t seem to help very much!

My middle daughter (three-years-old at the time) went to sleep okay, but struggled to remain there. She was up no less than five times within two hours, which conveniently started just as we were heading to bed. I suspect it might have something to do with the restless older sister who made the top bunk squeak. She was inconsolable unless either my husband or I were in the room with her. She kept peeking to make sure we didn’t leave.

The littlest one (she was about one) had the unfortunate problem of 3 teeth trying to break through. For the past two evenings she has fussed on and off every hour or two throughout the evening. The worst part is when we went in to try and comfort her she would push us away and didn’t even want us around. I suspected she was a little bit angry we couldn’t fix her problem and make the pain go away.

How often do we treat God the same way? We pitch a fit and do our best to get out of the things He wants us to do, all the time knowing we will have to submit and are just making matters worse. Sometimes we are so nervous about doing new things we are terrified God won’t be there with us. We want something tangible to give us comfort. Then there are the times when God doesn’t do what we expect Him to and we get upset. We’d rather He just leave us alone if He isn’t going to fix what we want Him to fix or how we think it should be done.

Many Scriptures talk about God as our Father and how much better are the things He gives to us than we, who are lowly sinners, give to our kids. I don’t believe this is necessarily talking about tangible gifts. I love my kids and want what is best for them even when they don’t always want to accept it. Not giving in to their every want is a gift. Providing for their basic needs is a gift. Teaching biblical truths is a gift. Loving them unconditionally is a gift. These are things I aim for, yet my human flesh often gets in the way. Our heavenly Father does each of these perfectly, without blemish.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
James 1:17

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