“I pray with all my heart; answer me, Lord! … I cry out to You; save me!” Psalm 119:145a-146a (NLT)
Have you ever watched the parents of a young baby (or been one yourself) as they oversee their young one learn to roll over? If so, then you know how hard it can be to watch your baby struggle over and over again in learning how to do things (like roll over, hold up her head, or begin to crawl). To sit by and just watch as they struggle … all the while, resisting the urge to help them or do it for them. It’s hard.
But we know that if we help them … if we rescue them from the discomfort of learning and achieving these milestones on their own … we ultimately handicap. By rescuing them out of the struggle, we are actually doing them a disservice.
I was working with a chiropractor the other day whose practice actually centers around “undoing” these basic early movements we didn’t learn appropriately. Perhaps our parents rescued us too frequently from our struggles, or perhaps we never learned to crawl, or perhaps we were rushed into certain stages too quickly. Any of these have muscular and structural implications for our long-term well-being. So, in many cases, we have to undo or relearn some very basic movements.
And all this makes me think of God.
In the Psalms, we watch David beg God to rescue him over and over. Often today, people ask why God isn’t rescuing them or the world from a particular struggle. Sometimes, I too wonder why I haven’t been rescued from certain struggles.
Maybe it is because God, in all His wisdom, knows that if He rescues us … He would actually be hurting us. Maybe God, in all His love and kindness, actually restrains Himself from rescuing us … because He wants us to fully functioning more than He wants us to be temporarily relieved. Maybe God, because He loves us so much, suffers with us through the growing pains … so that He can celebrate with us at a later date.
David seemed to know that only God was the Author of all that is true and just. David’s trust in the Lord was unwavering, even when he wasn’t seeing God’s rescue.
So may yours be also … and mine … as we struggle through whatever growing pains the Lord allows. “Be strong and take courage,” reminds David, “all you who put your hope in the Lord! For He has shown His unfailing love.” (Psalm 32:24, 21 (NLT))