God’s Car Seat

Everyday, moms and dads physically pick up their small children, strap them in a car seat and take them to various places. Sometimes their destination is a fun place like the park or the zoo. Other times the journey is to a place that might be uncomfortable or scary like the doctor’s office or Wal-Mart (Have you seen some of the people who shop at Wal-Mart?). No matter…the parent does not ask the kid’s permission when taking these little trips. It is just assumed the parent has the best interest of the child in mind and the child will just have to go. If it were not for the existing relationship between the parent and child, these little trips would be classified as abductions.

Imagine how it must feel for the child. She is sitting on the floor entertaining herself when dad walks in and lovingly takes her up in his arms. Her toys and imaginary play world is rudely interrupted by this bigger, stronger person. He is kind but, to be honest, is also inconsiderate. He says affirming words and has a big smile on his face, but because she is only 2 she doesn’t really understand everything he is saying. She did understand the word “go” and the word “no” when she pointed to remains of her play world left scattered on the floor. She understands she will not be alone, but she has no idea what the day holds as he straps her in to her car seat. For a moment she tries to resist and even begins to pout, but her dad just smiles and overpowers her futile attempts to leave her temporary restraints. The car cranks and begins moving. She has no idea where they are going. Even if her dad tried to explain, she probably would not understand. She doesn’t recognize most of the words he uses and his logic, no matter how hard he might try to explain, is just beyond her capability. She has a choice as they pull out of the driveway. She can scream and cry all the way on this mysterious journey or she can trust her dad and try to find something enjoyable in the ride.

Believe it or not, our relationship with the Heavenly Father is not much different at times. He may not physically sweep us off our feet, but He can certainly start a journey in our life without our permission. He may not strap us in a car seat, but He can allow circumstances to limit our options. And guess what? He is not obligated to always explain to us what is happening or where the journey is going to take us. Even if He did, we probably would not recognize all of His words or comprehend all of His thoughts. The Lord said it this way when speaking to the prophet Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) God is not implying that He thinks and acts differently than we do. He is proclaiming that His thought process, His plans and His actions are better than ours.

It seems cruel doesn’t it? If not cruel at least unfair. God has the power to interrupt our life. He is bigger and stronger. He sees the world and our lives from a different perspective. He understands things and knows stuff that we don’t know. He uses a language we don’t always understand. His goals, objectives, agendas, and schedule just don’t make sense to us. His timing seems odd many days and when we are completely satisfied in the moment He decides to set us on a new adventure. It feels just like that little girl being strapped into a car seat.

When God moves this way in our life we have a choice. We can start kicking and screaming (most of us do this with our attitudes and habits) or we can trust God, believe He is good and start looking for the enjoyable moments in the journey. Admittedly, we don’t know where we are going. It could be one of the best adventures we’ve ever had, or it could be an uncomfortable life lesson we desperately need. The key to surviving these divine interruptions is trusting the character of the Father. If it were not for our enjoyment or for our correction, He would not have interrupted our life. We have to be okay not understanding what He is doing…and that is hard to do without an ever growing trust in Him. If we could understand everything God was doing then He would no longer be God.

Maybe you are on one of these journeys right now. If so, I encourage you to trust Him and be patient. As we grow in our relationship with the Almighty, there will be times He explains what He is doing. However, some days He is the Father who owes no explanation. He is just doing what needs to be done. Trust Him.

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