Why does the thunder always start up at bedtime? It never fails. And my children are big old chickens when it comes to bad weather. My bed has shrunk over the years as more and more little bodies squeeze in during a thunderstorm.
Last night, when a blustery wind blew up and the whites of their eyes started showing, I decided it was about time to lay down the law. The older ones, at least, have to start conquering this fear. I told Czarina, she was simply going to have to deal with it.
It did not go well.
Apparently, gone are the days when I could tell her not to worry, and that would be the end of it because she trusted me, the grown-up in charge of her life. No matter how I tried to explain that when we are afraid, that we should pray, it didn’t alleviate her fear. She knows now, that praying doesn’t necessarily make the thunder stop. It may not stop the wind from blowing over a tree and crashing into our roof and onto her bed, killing her instantly.
She’s figured it out.
She’s figured out that bad things happen, even to Christians. Even when you pray for them not to happen.
In a way, I was sad to see her moving beyond that simple, childlike belief that things will always be sunny and happy because you believe in God. How sweet and uncomplicated the world is when you hold that view. But how sad if that’s all the faith you ever experience. There’s so, so much more.
So, this was exciting, too. Here we are, the sky is loud and flashing, and we’ve come to another crossroad of my daughter’s faith. Here’s when she gets to begin the journey of understanding God’s sovereignty in ALL things.
So I sat on her bed, and told her all the things I know to be true…
…that nothing can ever, ever happen to us that God doesn’t know about. There are no surprises, nothing He can’t stop from happening, nothing out of His control. The storm outside her window is His to command.
…that absolutely everything that happens is used by God for good. For our good, for His glory. Even if it seems like a bad thing, God has plans for it. We may not always know the reasons for things, but that’s okay. God knows it. And if letting a bad thing happen to one of His children will bring Him glory, maybe cause an unbeliever to come to Him, then we welcome it.
…that even if something bad does happen, that we don’t have to be scared or worried, because this life is just a blink of an eye. These bodies are just temporary stops along the way. That we may live here on earth for a little while, but we are truly citizens of heaven. Our confidence and security is in that new body, that new existence- we need not worry over this one.
…that most importantly, God is good, no matter what. He loves us so much and is with us always, no matter where we are or what is happening around us. He always hears our prayers, and even though sometimes He doesn’t answer them the way we want, He always knows exactly what is right for us. He is good and kind and loving no matter what, because He is God and we are not.
Hard to grasp, no matter what your age. No matter what the storm.
It was a lot to absorb, but I saw her working it over, wanting it. She rolled over onto her pillow, fearful, uncertain, but thoughtful. She wrestled with God’s sovereignty, and eventually found peace enough to close her eyes.
Maybe that’s just the way it goes. Maybe the thunder still rolls, the winds still blow, and your heart still pounds. But eventually, you close your eyes. Because what will be, will be. God will, or He won’t, and it’s always good.
Resting in God’s sovereignty in the middle of the storm, there’s no safer place to be.
Plus, there’s a lot more room there than in momma’s bed.