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The waiting parent

April 12, 2007

I love learning from stories that flow from others lives. They can often show me God’s character, teach me truths, or drive me to ask questions that leave lasting effects on my life. Such a story was shared with me last week.

The young boy was sick with a cold. He wanted his mom to help him and to make him feel better. He trusted her care for him, and trusted she would help him. The mother responded by telling him what to do (blow your nose and rest) but the son didn’t want to listen. Again, she repeated her guidance but the boy wanted a different answer, a quicker solution.

Through the day the son kept asking for help. The mother had given her best advice and help but the son continued to try to do things his own way. Instead of continuing to repeat her same directions which were falling on deaf ears, she told her son that she had already told him what he needed to do and then she fell silent. She loved her son intensely but she had to leave the decision to him about whether to act. He knew what to do, and while it was painful for her to know her son was in need and not be able to help, she just needed to leave the choice to him.

At the end of the day the young boy took his mother’s advice and blew his nose. Immediately he felt better and rejoiced. Hopefully he also realized that he was right to trust his mother, and she really did care for him.

Have you ever gone to God and asked for him to do something only to feel like he didn’t listen or wasn’t responding? Could it be we are overlooking the advice and direction God has already given us? Could what we see as God’s silence really be him waiting for us to respond to what he already asked us to do? If I respond will I, like the young boy, feel better, rejoice, and experience the love and care of my parent? Will I understand my father’s love and silence better so I can hear him more clearly next time? Do I recognize how difficult it is for God to give me freedom to choose, only to have me choose a different course of action or time-line than what is best for me? This story has helped me to recognize that while I may be waiting for answers for God, he might be waiting for me to act on direction he has already given me. His love is very deep, and I trust during those times of silence that he is nearby watching and waiting.

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