Continuation of yesterday's post and another excerpt from my book, Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist:
I often avoid watching the news. Stories of kidnapped or terminally ill children are usually too much for me to bear. I remember being really upset after watching a report on Natalee Holloway, the American teenager who disappeared during a spring break trip to Aruba. Dallas was out of town and I was alone, which should have been my cue to avoid all things tragic. But against my better judgment I watched, and true to form, I came unglued.
And I couldn’t shake it. Watching Natalee’s poor mother talk about her desperate, fruitless search for her child reminded me of how vulnerable my kids are, and how helpless I sometimes am to protect them. I called a friend, who did her best to talk me off the ledge. She gave me a few Bible verses to look at and encouraged me to pray and trust the Lord. I read Psalm 91 but refused to be comforted.
That is, until I watched King Kong. There’s a part in the movie when Blondie runs away from the giant gorilla . . . and into a T. rex. She’s a goner, for sure, but just before she gets eaten (this is a spiritual analogy, I swear), King Kong steps into the frame. And our heroine—recognizing her only shot at survival—slowly backs into the shadow of almighty Kong. Who, of course, wins the day.
And suddenly Psalm 91 came alive. Granted, it was an unconventional lesson, but it made the point. Because like the T. rex, there are things I can’t handle alone—things with the power to consume me and my littles. I’m often told to not be afraid—that in the grand scheme of things, the odds of bad stuff happening are low. But minimizing the threat has never been a comfort. Only the image of God standing over me and my loved ones, covering us with His shadow, does the trick.
He’s bigger than the scary stuff.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Psalm 91:1-2
God is bigger than the things that terrify me and bigger than my shortcomings, which is a good thing because much to my dismay, I’m not perfect. I make plans but can’t see around corners. I get tired, and I can be impatient with my kids (most often around dinner-making time). I don’t have all the answers, especially with Elle’s ever-changing autistic fixations and needs, so I make stuff up as I go along. And I’m terrified of snakes. No kidding. I’ll throw down with anyone to protect my munchkins, but if a snake shows up in our backyard, it’s every man (and small child) for himself.
Because in spite of my efforts to the contrary, I’m limited. God, on the other hand, is not. He watches over my children when I can’t. He guards and guides their hearts. His judgment is never hindered by fear or anger or a lack of understanding. He sees around the next corner—and the next and the next.
He’s got it covered because He doesn’t sleep.
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:2-4
God's in charge and nothing escapes his purview. And I believe it, and most of the time its enough. But other times, when children suffer and life turns upside-down, one question rears its head:
Is He good?
Tune in tomorrow.