My son has one of those convertible crib things. It's supposed to grow with your kid and has four levels. A few weeks ago, we awoke to a loud thud in the middle of the night. Musa rushed to the nursery, only to find Lincoln sitting on the floor crying and looking bewildered.
That night, we lowered the crib to the very lowest setting.
A few days later, to our horror, we awoke to the same, familiar thud. Musa rushed in again, only this time, our son met him at the door. Needless to say, Lincoln slept in the bed with us that night (and soundly, might I add.)
I lamented to Lincoln's pediatrician several days later and asked what we should do. Surely, he was too young for a toddler bed.
"Well, once he starts jumping, you know it's time. He could really hurt himself now that he knows how to get out, especially if he lands on something hard."
Seriously? Why couldn't Lincoln just understand that his crib, even though it looks and feels like a glorified prison, was actually the best and safest place for him to sleep?
The more I think of that question, the more I think of myself. How many times have I read through God's Word, clearly understood the measurements of the protective boundaries He's placed around me (a spiritual crib for the sake of analogy), and then calculated, plotted and "successfully" schemed on how to find a way out? And in the end, "freedom" is never as satisfying as it seems.
The issue with Lincoln is that He's too young to understand that we're actually being loving when we kiss him goodnight and tuck him in his crib. He's too immature to rationalize. And if I'm honest, that's my issue too. Every time I violate the authority God has placed in my life (my parents, my husband, my boss, the state speed limit ...) I'm saying with my actions that He isn't loving. If He was, He would give me what's truly best, which just so happen to be all the things I really desire (a bigger house, a nicer car, more money and smaller feet).
It's not terribly surprising that I often end up just like Lincoln: on the floor, hurt and in need of help.
But what is surprising, is that each time I find myself there in the dark, at my lowest point, God disciplines, but also comforts me. He picks me up and consoles me. He knows that I'm a jumper at heart and yet He loves me anyway. He proves, over and over and over, that He is truly loving. And for that, I am truly grateful.