bedtime not going so well by NIkki McLeod (2008) via Flickr, CC. Bedtime not going so well by Nikki McLeod (2008) via Flickr, CC.

You’ve given your four-year-old his bath. Read a story. Ensured he brushed his teeth. Said prayers. Tucked him in and kissed him good night. You sit down on the couch, ready to check your email. Within forty-five seconds, you hear the little feet coming, “Mom! I can’t fall asleep!” And phase 2 of bedtime ensues.

If you’ve never encountered this exact scenario, and you are a parent or have had any serious contact with children, you’ve encountered something like it. And while it is annoying, we all learn that it is normal and develop a certain level of patience for the impatience of our children. We try to help them to realize that it takes more than one chore to earn enough for a new Lego set, that the blanky will come out of the dryer in its own time, that Christmas is still 6 sleeps away, and that it takes more than 45 seconds of laying still to fall asleep.

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While we try to grow patience in and for our children, do we try to grow AS children? This week, my children had a great experience at our parish summer program. My third-grader loved to share the lessons with us at home and explained to me that when we pray for things, God sometimes says “Yes,” and sometimes says “Not now,” and sometimes says “I have a better plan for you.” And yet, so often when we pray, we jump up after not getting immediate results and start complaining. God is being a good and generous Father to us. (Hey, I just tell MY kids “NO!”) We, on the other hand aren’t much more patient than a four-year-old.

Tantrum Tantrum by Dan Hughes (2006), via Flickr, CC.

What happens when to tell a four-year-old to wait? They ask again, and again and again. They use the nice voice and polite words; they whine; they sometimes scream and have a tantrum. Is that how we ask? Is that how we respond when our Father tells us to wait or to trust in His better plan for us?

God’s time is not our time. Forty-five seconds is an eternity to a four-year-old and a hundred years on Earth is like a mere moment in Heaven. But, even though it is not easy, when we accept and trust in God’s time, and allow Him to take care of us as only He perfectly can, the results astound us. I challenge you, readers, to share your testimonies to this in the comments to help others see the power of God’s generosity in His perfect timing.

When did God show you that His time is the best time? When did your child teach you that patience is not innate?

Copyright 2016 Kate Daneluk