It was the morning ritual – my daughter would get herself dressed and ready for the day, make her bed, pick up her room, eat breakfast, brush her teeth, and then come to my room with the necessities in hand – hairbrush, detangler spray, and hairbands.
First would come a few of the “ouch, ouch!” and “that’s too hard!” comments, then the wincing would be added, and finally, to top off the daily event, the tears and angry facial expressions would follow. Yes, mean mom would attempt (with constant failure!) to gently but quickly brush every knot out of her hair until, after what seemed like an eternal, all-out, torture session, the bristles would smoothly run through each section of hair on her head. What was once a knotty, nappy mess became a beautiful, finished hairdo.
That doesn’t happen anymore. My daughter can now get her hair all ready by herself every morning. Once in a (great) while :-), I am a bit saddened by the fact that I don’t do her hair anymore, but on the other hand, it is just one more baby step of the continued pursuit of her full independence.
I have been thinking about that as it relates to God being our Father. In many ways, the definition of the word “father” is very similar in both the earthly and heavenly perspectives. God is our provider, our protector, our guide, and our example, just as we want our earthly fathers to be. Yet, when it comes to this “dependence vs. independence” thing, the earthly and heavenly definitions of “fathering” (or parenting) seem to take on opposite meanings. As parents, we want our children to, little by little, grow in their independence, whereas, we, as God’s children, should learn to have more and more dependence on Him. To our children, we say, “Try to do it by yourself. You can do it!”. However, God says to His children, “I am here for you to lean and depend upon. You’re right, you can’t do it by yourself, but nothing is impossible for me! Let me do it for you.”
I want God to keep brushing my hair. Yes, it will hurt at times – it will be uncomfortable – I might get angry and want to cry – but I know that He is brushing it in a way that, when He is finished, it will be a beautiful hairdo that can show off His glory in a way that I could never make it do by myself.
Philippians 2:13-15 (NIV) …for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
Your turn to share: Does anyone else join me in having a hard time, at times, being a fully dependent child of God, especially in our “independent-minded” culture?