Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crying it Out

When a baby cries, our basic, human instinct is to go to the baby and help it stop crying. I've heard lots of parents talk about the practice of letting their baby "cry it out". I don't know a lot about this theory and since I don't have any children I certainly don't have any experience with it, but from what I understand the idea is to allow the baby to learn to self soothe instead of relying on his parent for comfort.

Well, now that I think about it, I did kind of practice "crying it out" when Henry was a puppy. We would put Henry and Cali in their crate and we knew they had just gone to the restroom and had eaten dinner, so if they cried, we tried to ignore it. Sometimes it worked and eventually they would calm down and go to sleep. For like an hour.

Anyway, oftentimes I'm realizing that God lets us "cry it out". I don't necessarily mean literal crying and I don't mean He's teaching us to self soothe because He's always with us. But I do think when we are plagued with questions, fears, and doubts and we beg God for answers, sometimes He doesn't answer because He wants us to learn that we already have everything we need. He has perfectly equipped us and prepared us for the lives He's given us and so we don't need to panic and demand an answer of direct and immediate revelation from God. We just need to have faith in His Presence, power, and love for us.

Not to mention the fact that we pray, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done. He doesn't submit to us; we submit to Him. When my mind and heart are spinning at top speed with questions of Why? and How? and When? and Why not?!?!, God seemingly remains silent. With time I am learning that He is doing a far wiser thing than answering my every fear-driven, faithless question. In His lack of a direct answer He is teaching me to submit to His power in my life and to choose to have faith in His goodness and love for me. In submission I have found peace, gratefulness, contentment, and joy in unexpected places.

But still, I have to learn this lesson repeatedly. Just as I am internally crying out to God in frustration with life, I remember that He is my perfect Heavenly Father and like a baby in its crib, I eventually stop crying. Comforted by His Promises and the Presence of His Holy Spirit, which never, ever leaves me.

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