Just yesterday, I prayed that the Lord would help me to see his goodness in light of his sovereignty in this situation. I also prayed that he would help me to fight my sins of frustration, anger, selfishness, and irritability, which were rearing their ugly heads as I listened to my screaming son. Helpless though I felt, I was comforted by the fact that God is in control of all circumstances and, in fact, he had ordained this for my good (Rom. 8:28). Not a few hours later, though, I was in tears as I attempted to put Hudson down for nap number two, while fighting the feeling of abandonment and loneliness. Where was God in this mom's sleep-deprived, exhausted, and tear-filled circumstance?! My perplexity led me back to what I had written in my journal just a few hours prior to that moment. The thoughts that I had written down were a reflection on the unchanging character of God. This bore fruit in my thinking in light of what I was experiencing. My theology brought stability to my troubled heart.
I wrote, "Although I am perplexed about Hudson's difficulty with sleeping lately, I have been able to remember a few things about God's character that have been truly comforting:
- He is good; he is always good (Ps. 119:68)
- He cares for me, and wants me to cast all my anxiety on him in humility (1 Pet. 5:6)
- He is my hope--not my circumstances (Rom. 8:25)
- He loves me (Rom. 5:5)
- He is at work in my heart, using my circumstances to conform me to the image of his Son, which is my ultimate good (Rom. 8:28)
If you find yourself in unforeseen circumstances that threaten to steal your joy or cloud your view of God's goodness, ask yourself these questions: "Does my theology work for me or against me in a situation like this?", "Is God really in control of whether or not my son takes a nap this afternoon?", "Does he have a purpose in what is so seemingly mundane and inconsequential?" I believe that God governs every detail of our daily lives and uses them to mold our character to the likeness of Jesus. When I am sleep-deprived and teary-eyed, I should let what is true about God work to shape me into the image of Christ.