Wham! A guttural wail rose from my sons throat as he expressed his pain and frustration.
This is not the first time he has whacked his big toddler head into a dresser. Which is probably why he was more angry than hurt. Putting on pants like a big kid is hard.
I scooped him up into my arms, holding the full weight of his body, and his emotions, against mine. He pressed in closer for comfort and assurance. I patted his back and whispered in his ear.
Then he did something that surprised me. He patted my back in return.
This unexpected, sweet moment has stuck with me. His gentle mimicking of my motions. His chubby hand finding rhythm against my shoulder blade. His sobs quieting as his body relaxed.
In the intensity of my own hurt or frustration, Jesus does the same for me. He scoops me up in his abounding grace. He presses a rhythm of truth to my heart:
You are loved, unconditionally. (Psalm 86:15)
I cherish you. (Zephaniah 3:17)
I won’t let you go. (John 10:29)
This too shall pass. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
You will get through this, whole and victorious. (Romans 8:37-39)
I understand what you are going through. (Hebrews 4:15)
I want to respond like my son, leaning fully into Jesus’ care, anchoring myself there when the tides of my emotions overwhelm me.
I want to mimic the rhythm of truth which Jesus taps like morse-code onto my heart. I want to tap-tap-tap that same truth over my circumstance, my attitude, my temptation, my fears, my doubts. I want to share it with others who, like me, keep banging our heads against our proverbial dressers.
We need this precious memory to bring us heavenly perspective.
Perhaps, like my son, we will then have the courage and strength to put on our big kid pants again. God doesn’t promise it to be easy, but He does promise to be with us, every step of the way.
The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8