truth louder than tantrums

by Katherine

In the days of the downpour, when we stay inside closed doors and watch from windows, it is my style to wander dreamily through the day. I sip hot tea, read essays, study Scripture, and discover new mellow music to wrap the room in an ambience of rest. Extra episodes of Flynn’s favorite shows are allowed, and we color enthusiastically with new crayons.

Today these sweet things fit in the tiny spaces between the cacophony of loud and long toddler tantrums. These hard-won moments of peace were brief, and nearly any movement could send the scales tipping towards the next full-body cry against all of life’s unfairness.  This was all too familiar to me, it is rage we all give when we are told that we are not in control. I had to step into his fighting, whether he welcomed me or not, and tell him that I understand, that I love him, but that this is all meant to push us toward Jesus, the great idol-crusher and our freedom from sin. All this weakness and anger, sweetheart. Take it to Jesus. He is all you really need. (Not a pop-tart. Not more TV. Not even the freedom to color on your favorite canvas shoes.)

This is not the picture every day, my every skill and philosophy as a mother put to the test.  But being a mother has caused me to press more deeply into the truth I profess and has urged me to be more engaged with the word of God. I need it for the long, tireless tantrum days when I need the words to speak over my boy, the words to pray, the assurance that my standing with God does not depend on how I handled things, but on the complete obedience of Jesus Christ. I also need it for the peaceful, happy, obedient days when I tend to lean more on my own strength and need to teach myself (and my family) that our goodness is not our peace.

I cannot afford to neglect the lamp to our feet and the light to our path that is God’s word. It is so easy to allow the noise of days like this one to push me away from it; it is tempting to seek rest and reward in the latest Instagram updates, a fabulous sale at my favorite store, a nap, or the final chapters of an engaging novel. All of these are good and wonderful gifts, but all gifts have their proper place at the footstool of the Giver. He made me (and my little one) to know him, to be in fellowship with him for eternity, and there is no better place to know him than in the Book he has given us. I hope we will all linger longer in its pages today, open our hearts wider to its instruction, and allow our idols to lose their luster next to the shimmering glory of Jesus.

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