If you’re a parent, then you are all too familiar with this stage of opposition and self-absorption. Now that I’ve been a mom for over 15 years, I’ve noticed that the terrible twos resurface quite a bit throughout childhood. When hormones start surging in the preteen years, when a desire for independence comes in the teen years, and even a few times in between.
Honestly, I think the terrible twos represent our sin nature so well. Basically, the terrible twos are rooted in the child’s inability to see beyond what they want in the moment. They can’t fathom any other scenario than the one in their head. Sound familiar?
I’ve recently had my own bout of the terrible twos. There’s a particular situation in my life that has gone on for a few years, and frankly, I reached my limit very early on. I’ve gone through seasons of surrendering and depending on the Holy Spirit to carry me along in this, and then seasons of resentment and fear that it will never end. At ideal moments, I experience joy, knowing that God has me in His hand and it makes no difference what sort of circumstances I am in. In low moments, I can’t get past the fact that I want out. I guard my heart from Him, hide from Him, and experience a lack of peace, joy, and contentment. The most recent cycle of hiding my heart from Him has been difficult to break out of. To be honest, I am just so darn weary of this particular circumstance. I can’t see the value in this situation and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Along the way, God’s word to me has been, “Trust Me.” When I couldn’t trust people in my circumstances, His word was, “You don’t need to trust them. You only need to trust Me.” When I was convinced that the end was around the very next bend, only to get there and see miles stretched out before me, His word was again, “Trust in the God you know Me to be.” He has repeatedly steered me to Psalm 77:7-13.
Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
When circumstances are out of my control, I have to appeal to what I know about my God and His track record. I must reflect on all of the times that He saved me, that He provided, that He worked miracles. I have to meditate on the character that He displayed in those glorious moments and believe that He is still the same. He is good. He cannot lie. He never changes.
Since He is good, then His plans for me, even within my difficult circumstances, are good. If I can’t see the good, or even the possibility of it, then I must believe that there is some unknown factor, some undreamed agenda that He is working to bring about in my favor. I must believe that He has some sweet blessing that will be revealed as I hold on to Him.
I cannot see yet what He will do. But I MUST believe that He has been weaving in threads of glory that will be revealed in the end. Hasn’t he always managed to bring good out of tough situations?
One thing about the terrible twos is that most little ones wear out eventually and become compliant. I think I’ve worn myself out and it’s time to fall into His faithful arms. It’s time to believe in my Father’s loving heart and His ability to orchestrate the unimaginable. It’s time to let go….
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Farmhouse Kitchen Window, zazzle.com (text added)