The cold weather has finally hit us with temperatures below 0°c during the wee night and early morning. In spite of that, our toddler ironically decides that now is the best time to stop using a blanket.
We completely empathise with parents who have little kickers of blankets as we’ve been through this with our eldest boy in addition to his younger brother following in his stead now. The countless battles throughout the night has begun with Michael, just like we had with John previously, as the feisty little boy kicks up a fuss by literally kicking the blanket off while crying in protest until the blanket is no longer covering him.
Being the loving parents we are, we would keep trying to cover his exposed tummy and hands – us covering, him crying and kicking, us covering, him crying and kicking – this process repeats all throughout the night. Most of the time, we had to give up trying, frustrated that he wouldn't let us cover him with the blanket while worrying he'll catch a cold at night.
We were thinking of the best for Michael but he might not have understood our gesture of love and just wanted his own way. This uncannily hits me as I wondered how often we too have been like my two boys; oblivious to God's good intentions for us but instead making a fuss over it and continually rejecting His best for us?
With winter here, there will be cold days when we are shivering. When those days come, we sometimes think the best thing God can do is to just take away the cold. However, He knows that taking away the cold isn't going to make us grow. God doesn't shelter us by taking away the cold but He provides us with the right tools to keep us warm - He gives us a blanket.
However, we often take for granted the small blanket and kick it away and expect for God to take away the cold when He has already given us a solution to it! We not only fail to see that He has already provided for us but when we catch a cold (because we didn't use the blanket He gave us), we blame Him for not taking care of us and not being concern of our well being.
Although at the moment our children don’t know that what we are doing is the best for them, we still do as much as we can. We'll even do it over and over though we face rejection. God too is the same as us when it comes to providing for His children. Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11 records God’s promise that He has the best for us which is a great future and never to harm us.
God provides, we decide
God allows the cold so that we would use the tools He has given us to look after ourselves. We cover our boys with their blankets so they know that there will be cold nights. Even when those cold nights come, they have what it takes to keep warm.
As parents we could not shelter our children from the cold anymore than we could provide them with a blanket to make sure they are warmly tucked in at night. We have done what we can by providing, but the decision of whether they will use it to cover themselves is still up to them. We can tuck them in nicely before bed but if they decide to kick the blanket off there’s nothing much that we can do.
We can set our children up for success but it’s their responsibility to use what have been given to them wisely or to discard it. Likewise God has map out the best for our lives, but we still need to make that decision to trust He knows what’s best in order to be great stewards of the things He has entrusted to us.
Blessed to be a blessing
When we begin to put our trust and walk in God's plans for us, we become aware of how He has provided for us. We learn that we will not lack but have everything we need for each situation we face and even better still, abundance to bless others.
As Corinthians chapter 9, verse 8 clearly states, 'And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.'
So we could be going through a winter season in our life now and it might seem like God doesn't care about us because He's not giving us our summer time. If we just challenge ourselves to believe that God really does want the best for us, we will begin to understand precisely why He is not taking us out of this freezing cold period and robbing us of our chance to grow and bless others.
Look around to see what teeny weeny 'blanket' we have previously overlooked which God has given to us that could 'warm' us and others up this winter as we live our best life fully equipped as a blessing.
Esther Koh is a stay-at-home mum living in Wellington with her husband and two sons. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
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