The Infinite & The Finite
Angry. Foot stomping, fist waving, red faced, deep-throat screaming kind of angry. I see it all the time. My two angels have a way of showing their devilish sides with abandon when things don’t go their way.
Take, for example, yesterday afternoon when it was time to come back inside. Big Girl put on her big girl defiance and outright refused and the whole neighborhood got an earful of her rage.
And last week, when Little Girl threw hands in the air and head back in utter grief when I took away a book that she had been playing with. Luckily for my thigh I was wearing long pants so the claw marks as a result of her attempt to scale my leg didn’t last.
Oh the anger, oh the grief, of the outright rage. But why? They couldn’t see.
They couldn’t see what I was doing.
Big Girl couldn’t see that by her obedience, she would be refreshed with water and a favorite snack. Little Girl couldn’t see that I was removing the book for a moment so that I could repair it and, in turn, replace it with a more complete version of the thing she so longed for.
Oh the blindness of the wrong perspective. As Little Girl wailed at my feet all she knew was the book was out of sight. She couldn’t see me turning the pages carefully, pulling back the creases, strategically laying tape over the tears, and reinforcing the spine.
As Big Girl turned red faced in the drive way, she couldn’t see the future, the fullness and rest that was waiting for her on the other side of obedience. And both, in their rage and in their blindness, caused their relief and their joy to be delayed.
Had both trusted in the voice that was leading them and the hands that were setting a boundary, they would have more quickly received what their hearts desired and what their bodies needed. But they didn’t. All the previous blessings of days and months and years had escaped their memory to be cast in the shadow of the immediate, the momentary, and the temporary.
And there, in their tear soaked faces and their clenched fists I saw my reflection. The anger, the distrust, the fear, the loss, the frustration, the questions, and the doubt. Had it not been me? I, the one shaking wildly in the face of temporary loss, momentary trouble, and immediate change; forgetting the Infinite God.
My finite eyes incapable of seeing, much less understanding, what He was and is doing out my sight. My finite intellect unaware of what better He has planned in the path of faith-filled obedience.
Oh that my heart would resound the more with the days, the months, and the years of blessings I do know instead of the simple ones I don’t.
May my twisting anger be replaced with excessive gratitude. May my mortal loss by replaced with immortal love. May my willful disobedience be replaced with unshakable faith. May my demands for answers be replaced with increasing humility. In their faces and their desperate cries, my heart was cast in to light and I see it so clearly.
Lord, help my unbelief.
Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” – Matthew 14:28-33
The Infinite And The Finite
From the Valley of Vision
THOU GREAT I AM,
Fill my mind with elevation and grandeur at
the thought of a Being
with whom one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day,
A mighty God, who, amidst the lapse of worlds,
and the revolutions of empires,
feels no variableness,
but is glorious in immortality.
May I rejoice that, while men die, the Lord lives;
that, while all creatures are broken reeds,
he is the Rock of Ages, the Fountain
of living waters.
Turn my heart from vanity,
from uncertainties of the present state,
to an eternal interest in Christ.
Let me remember that life is short and
and is only an opportunity for usefulness;
Give me a holy avarice to redeem the time,
to awake at every call to charity and piety,
so that I may feed the hungry,
clothe the naked,
instruct the ignorant,
reclaim the vicious,
forgive the offender,
diffuse the gospel,
show neighbourly love to all.
Let me live a life of self-distrust,
dependence on thyself,
Arthur Bennet, www.BannerofTruth.org
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