Falling on the ground and flailing arms, whining and griping, groans and moans, and using absolutely NO sensible words is pretty much like nails sliding down a chalkboard for me. Like worse. Like SUPER ANNOYING.
CAN. NOT. STAND. IT.
Like what in the world?!?! Adam and Eve ate the apple and now, from generation to generation, throwing yourself on the ground and growling has now entered our world and DNA?!?!
Sin entered and man, oh man, did it ever pollute the world…along with the ability for a child to stand on their stinkin’ feet and use sensible sounds to communicate their blessed needs!
Can you imagine the first time that Cain and Abel did that in front of Eve? Oh wait…Cain did worse than just throw himself on the floor when he didn’t get his way. YIKES! Moving on…
I’m sure those boys probably threw themselves on that dirt floor (a time or twelve) in front of Eve (probably while she was tryin’ to get some hot stew on the table before Adam walked through the door), letting loose in a full-on, unholy, ridiculously-illogical fit! Guaranteed.
Sin entered…and shortly thereafter, ALL THE FLAILING!
Suffice to say, it drives me nuts when it happens in our home.
And today…it happened again.
Evie-girl was told that she needed to take off her over-sized, ruffled tutu from Costco (think bulk, people…think big, people) so that we could eat lunch (do NOT EVER want to clean hummus from that LARGE, ruffled skirt) and GIRL LOST HER MIND because she was struggling to locate her pants.
Falling to the ground, she immediately started flailing her limbs. Screaming, roaring, and pounding the floor, she made some unintelligible sounds that at the very least were very, very, VERY angry.
After disciplining the behavior, we sat on the floor and talked through the WHY of the WHAT.
“Evie, why did you make the choice to scream and yell instead of using your words to ask for help? Why did you lash out in that anger?”
“I mad, Mommy.”
“Right. You were frustrated because I asked you to take off your tutu and then you were having a hard time finding your pants. And because you were frustrated, you chose to get angry and act-out because you wanted immediate help. Evie, in this home, we use our words not our lungs.”
“I sorry, Mommy. I sorry. I use my word. I no scream. That no nice.”
We wiped the tears, hugged, located the pants, and moved on.
But not long after we had finished our meal and worked through our ordeal, I sat at the dining room table with my Bible open and a book in hand. And as I read, I found myself reading the following, only a few pages in:
“They do not cry out to me from their hearts, but wail upon their beds.” Hosea 7:14
I promise you…I have NEVER, EVER in my 32 years noticed those words or that passage…EVER. It was almost as if God was saving them for my parenting journey. For today. For September 13th, 2016…right after a flailing-child moment.
IS THIS A JOKE?
And as I read through the chapter, attempting to gain some context for this crazy-outta-the blue verse, I found similar phrases (just like it) peppered all over the chapter.
“…and none of them calls on me…”
“….does not return to the Lord his God or search for Him…”
“…they have strayed from me…”
“…they do not turn to the Most High…”
And as I sat and pondered the nature of these words and the nature of my flailing children, I was struck by the flailing nature of myself….seen through the flailing nature of Israel (God’s children).
In the middle of their discipline…in the middle of their hard…in the middle of their suffering…Israel did the very same thing that Evie did today–the very same thing that I, too, often do.
Instead of running into His steadfast and mighty arms, I “flail” in my head, bemoaning my “hard” and fretting about my future.
Instead of calling out to Him (using my words and seeking His face), I “flail” on my phone, texting my hurts and and sharing my fears.
Instead of returning to the Lord and searching for His help and His wisdom, I “flail” at my husband, hoping he’ll fix it or calm it.
Instead of seeking out the Most High and resting in His presence, I “flail” at my to-do list, my Amazon shopping cart, my refrigerator, and even my social media account.
Instead of doing something HOLY about my “hard,” sometimes I, too,”flail” and “wail”–attempting to fix it on my own and in my own.
But what does God desire and want for us in the middle of our “can’t-locate-my-pants” moments?
He wants us to come and sit at His feet.
He wants us to acknowledge our need and speak our brokenness.
He wants us to use our words and cry out to Him.
He wants us to turn from us and run to Him.
Because He is the ONLY ONE who has the ultimate power to heal the hurts, bind the brokenness, and redeem the rubble (Hosea 6).