Recently, my grandson learned to say “Nana”. And, when he looks at me with his big blue eyes and says, “Nana, Nana,” it melts my heart. I want to give him everything he asks for and protect him from every evil in the world.
I often get into trouble with my daughter for spoiling him (and his sister). She is tired of playing “good cop, bad cop” and always having to be the mean disciplinarian (my granddaughter’s take on getting in trouble is “Mama is being mean to me!”).
I have to say that I was strict with my own kids. I knew that wishy-washy parenting would result in wishy-washy kids and I felt a great responsibility to produce adults who would honor the Father who loaned them to me in the first place.
And, my daughter is carrying on this tradition. I can see how seriously she takes on the task of raising her kids. I’m sure she is tempted to give up sometimes and let them do and have whatever they want. But, she continues fighting the good fight and as a result she is turning two extremely strong-willed children into sweet, caring people. It’s exhausting work but so necessary.
It makes me think that no matter how many years we have under our belts, we will never be “grown-up” in the eyes of God. There will always be more lessons to learn, more challenges to face, more toys we want. We still get angry when we don’t get our way. We throw tantrums and yell about the unfairness of it all. And, we pout and plead and bargain to try and get our way.
But, because we have the perfect parent, the answer to our demands is sometimes a resounding “NO!” And, no amount of pleading or whining will change that, for our father knows that it is not in our best interest to be given everything we ask for.
No, God is not a Nana. He does not feed us only “sweets”. He does not protect us from all life’s hardships. He does not smooth the road in front of us. Instead, he, allows us to stumble and fall. He knows that learning lessons the hard way is sometimes the only way we will learn.
But, thank goodness that God IS a parent. He is always there for us to run to when we are repentant and need to be forgiven. He is there when we are afraid and need him to chase the monsters away. He loves us no matter how naughty we have been. And, no matter how frustrated he gets, he never gives up on us.
And, that isn’t mean at all.