Thursday, June 28, 2012

Children, Eye Drops and Relating to God


Have you ever tried to give eye drops to a five year old? This is one of those adventures parents sometimes endure, the type that can make you doubt your ability to care of your children. Those dreaded eye drops recently were a part of our daily routine, an unwanted addition that started when my youngest came home with pink eye.

I knew I was in trouble when I picked my son up from school. His eye was noticeably red with gross yellowy eye snot beginning to form. The teacher said his eye began to redden towards the end of the day, getting worse until it began to run just before dismissal. Instantly I knew we were in for a trip to the pediatrician and perhaps a side trip to the pharmacy. Of course as a parent you always hope for the best. I prayed it might clear on its own by morning but God chose another path. For the next several days I had to give my son eye drops three times a day in each eye.

I have a tough time putting eye drops in my own eyes. In fact I never use them, and I suspect I did not engender much confidence as I tried to convince my son to do something I myself avoid. His response to the first treatment was what I would naturally expect from a young child. He sat still, allowing me to hold his eyelids open but as I raised the bottle over the eye he began twisting a flailing his arms as if defending himself from an attacker. I wound up having to hold him in my lap while my wife put the drops in his eyes.

Eventually we were able to make a game of it, learning to laugh at the occasional drop that wound up on his nose instead of in his eye; the result of a sudden flinch by an energetic rug rat. To be honest it would have been easy to give up after the first attempt rather than struggle to get those drops in his eyes but as a parent I knew this was best. I did not give in to my son’s resistance and the payoff was immediate. By the morning of the second full day of treatment his eyes were pretty much clear.

I have lost count of the times when I struggled against the Lord’s call. When God asks me to do something that does not make sense to me or with which I am uncomfortable I often find myself taking up a defensive posture, trying my best to convince God to choose another path. Fortunately God never gives up, patiently responding as a loving Father doing what is best for His child.

One day we will see the full picture, understanding why God takes us out of our comfort zones in order to prepare us for His Kingdom. For now each of His children must learn to trust in Him, growing in faith with each challenge.

How about you? Like a child torn between trusting a parent and the fear of something uncomfortable, do you resist God’s perfect will for your life?

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