Monday, August 22, 2016

Words of Wisdom

When we're young, we make a tacit vow never to say the things our mothers said to us. Now that my years number far greater than those of my mother when she dispensed those gems of wisdom, I find I often break that vow.

Our new little grandson is a month old. When he first came home from the hospital, he slept a solid five hours a night. I told my sweet daughter how blessed they were. I talked to her yesterday. Things, it seems, have changed.

This little one has decided it's really not all that much fun to sleep. He'd much rather be in on the action - during the day and, shockingly, during the night. He's a happy little guy - just not big on sleeping right now. His parents, on the other hand, think a few hours of uninterrupted sleep would be worth a king's ransom.

 As first-time parents they are trying to do everything right. They have read all the books and listened to all the advice. When one book said babies should be on a schedule by the time they are one month old, they felt they so discouraged (I told her to burn that book!)

I remember those days … and nights. I also remember calling my Mom and telling her (okay whining) about how hard it was. She said, "Honey, when he's three months old it will be so much easier." My thought in that moment was: I will not live that long! However, she was right. In three months' time life had become manageable.

I didn't think I'd ever say those words to my daughter, but there they were coming right out of my mouth yesterday. She may have had thoughts similar to mine - or worse. On second thought, she sounded too tired to think a single thing. She did say she felt comforted to know she wasn't doing everything wrong.

Isn't it funny the way life goes? We struggle through times of difficulty, and someone comes along to tell us everything will be all right - eventually. We don't necessarily like to hear those words. All we want is relief - now, please. But I do think there is comfort in knowing someone else has gone through hard times and understands. They may not have all the answers, but they have a story that offers hope.

I confess, there are times I've been in the midst of painful circumstances, and the Lord speaks a word into my heart - a word to encourage me - and I don't want to hear it. I want Him to take away the hurt, and if that isn't happening I want answers. I want to know why.

It has taken me a long time to understand that He sees things from a different perspective than my limited field of vision. Just as I stand here with all my years of experience and offer words of encouragement to my daughter, He stands with more wisdom and power and love than I can possibly describe and offers me hope. He sees beyond my current circumstances to places I can't see. Nothing comes to me that doesn't first pass through His hands - with the promise to work things together for good. Not necessarily the way I planned; not necessarily with all the answers.

It is true. I may not understand it all this side of heaven. But I believe some day He will wrap His arm around me, and we will look back together.  We will look at the things that I couldn't make sense of and see how they formed a beautiful whole. Hope fulfilled.