In Need of a Do-Over?

I wasn't aware that I needed a "do-over" but God was. Many years ago when I was in the early years of my recovery from childhood abuse I experienced two events with my children that shook my foundation.

My daughter Heather was four years old at the time and went out to play in our yard one afternoon. Shortly thereafter she came running in the house crying with a bloody chin. It seems she'd fallen and scraped her chin on the sidewalk. I was beating myself up for allowing her to go outside and play. If only I hadn't done so. I hated seeing her in pain knowing I could have prevented it. A few weeks later our other daughter Kellie, who was about two at the time, contracted a bad cold. She was burning up with fever and was vomiting when we were driving home in our car. After she vomited the first time she couldn't catch her breath and I was terrified. I was sitting in the back seat with her feeling totally helpless and praying silently, but inside my heart I was shouting at God.

You say that You love Your children, God-- so WHY don't you intervene in their lives? Can't you see she is helpless and needs You? If I, as an earthly parent would intervene in the lives of my children, how can you stand idly by while they are hurting?

Several days went by and Kellie was slowly recovering, but my question to God still lingered in my heart. I flashed back to Heather running into the house, thinking to myself, I would have NEVER let her go outside that day had I known she was going to get hurt. And now, here is my helpless little two year old struggling to breathe, unable to sleep at night, and she is miserable. If I had the power, I'd heal her in a minute if I could!

As a loving Father, how can You NOT intervene in the lives of Your children?

I was angry at God. Not just because of my immediate situation with my own children. This anger had been stored up for years inside this grown woman, who herself, had once been a helpless little girl who suffered abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to love and care for her. Where was God then? Did He not care? Does He not ache like I ache as a mother who loves her children? How can He stand back and not intervene?

Three weeks went by and I was sitting in our living room watching our two girls play together with their dollies. Heather's chin was all better and Kellie had fully recovered from her cold. As clearly as any audible words, I heard God's Spirit inside my heart answer my question:

Jan, I see the end from the beginning. I see what you do not see. Even though I don't always intervene in the lives of my children, it's not because I don't love them. Just like with your girls, if you intervened in every situation in their lives, they would never learn to love and trust you. So it is with my children. Jan, you can trust Me because I see the end from the beginning.

Now here's the "do-over." We went up to visit our five month old granddaughter and her parents. The day we arrived, our little Averie came down with a cold. Our daughter Kellie had been sick for two weeks and was on the mend, thinking Averie had dodged her illness. Averie was very congested and could hardly breathe out her nose and her cough was waking her up during the night and nap times. She could barely nurse due to her congestion.

In the wee hours of the morning, Kellie just finished feeding her when I (Nana) took her into my arms to burp her. Kellie went off to bed to get a little more sleep and Nana was "on the job." All of a sudden, my sweet little Averie started coughing and vomiting up all she'd just been fed--not once, but twice. As I stood over the sink with my granddaughter in my arms and milk drenched my robe, the "terror" of my experience with my own daughters long ago surfaced in my mind. But this time, I had a different response.

Lord, I know that You are good. You love Averie and You love me. I trust that You are allowing this now, and I trust You to take care of Averie, even if You don't take this away. Thank you that I can trust You and that You're right now replacing that fear with trust. You see the end from the beginning.

Thank you, Lord for this divine "do-over."

Have you struggled with anger toward God? Do you wonder why He's allowed certain things to happen in your life? Have you ever verbalized or journaled your feelings to Him? Did you know He is big enough to handle your anger and loving enough to allow you to express your doubts? Then, be alert and watchful--you might need a divine "do-over" just like I did!