Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.
Recently both kids were sick. The doctor said that it was viral, so all I could do was address the symptoms and wait for them to get better. Inevitably, they would both be crying for something at the same time. Both looked so helpless with fevers and runny noses. I wanted to scoop them into my arms all of the time. But the reality is that I was constantly prioritizing. I had to rate who had the most pressing need, help that child first, and then go to the other. I found myself explaining to each what I had to do for the other while they were waiting. I am not sure how much my littler one understood my explanations, but I noticed that he did calm to the sound of my voice.
I couldn't help but wonder about the resonances of this experience in our own faith lives. How often do we come to God with pressing needs, waiting for God to answer them. Sometimes we do not get what we want right away; sometimes we have to wait. We can listen to God's words in scripture to know his promises, and the sound of God's voice through the Spirit may calm us a while. But we really have no idea what God is juggling. I had my hands full with two children. God holds all of creation in his hands as he seeks to tend and nurture it. And you can bet that God desires to wipe every tear from our eyes too.
I have a new appreciation for God's love. And an awe, really, for we know that all things work for good for those who love God. The fact that every single believer can rest upon that promise, that God can juggle all of our lives for our good, is incredible. I have heard God's providential care explained like this: God's power is not so much defined by the ability to arrange every event, as it is to provide for every contingency in bringing about God's purpose. God is not the author of human sin, for instance, but God is able to order even human sin for good. My understanding of God's providence has grown, which allows me to *sigh* a little bit and rest in the loving arms of God myself.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for your providential care. Help me to know it in my life better each day, and to show your unconditional love to my children. In Jesus' name, Amen.
"We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28, NRSV).
If this post incouraged you, you might also like A Promise To Live By Forever about another way God cares for us.