My husband's had a rough few weeks at school. For whatever reason, this time of year seems to be especially burdensome for him as a teacher. Last year, I think it may have played a part in Dave's running injury. The one that kept him from running his marathon earlier this year. But that's another story. Anyway, I hate to see him this way, walking in the door late at night, the weariness written all over his face. Frequent questions about his competence as a teacher, and really, as a person in general, beg for the comforting response from me. But sometimes my encouragement and reassurance are not enough. Dave is tired, and he continues to feel anxious, powerless, overwhelmed.
A few nights ago, as we were tucking our kids into their beds, Andrew was complaining about having to go to sleep. This happens quite frequently in our house, as I expect it happens often in most households with young children. Kids don't want to miss out on anything, even if it means jeopardizing their much-needed rest. As Dave was tucking Andrew in, ensuring that he was "snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug", he told Andrew that he wished he could be like him: that he could go to bed at 9PM, that he wouldn't need to worry about finishing projects long overdue or about what people think of him. In that moment, Dave was reflecting on what it was like for him during his childhood. He wanted for nothing; all of his needs were provided for. His job was simply to enjoy his life, and love the people around him, and be creative, and be loved.
But isn't that how life SHOULD be for us too, even after our wrinkles and gray hair expose the truth that we are way too old to be kids anymore? Do we really need to worry as much as we do? How can we be responsible adults, but still live more like children?
These are some my questions as I anticipate Christmas's arrival. The Bible describes God as a loving Father and us as children. In this relationship, we don't need to have all of the answers for life's problems and struggles. We don't need to scramble to provide for all of our own needs. Our Father is taking care of it for us. And He provides for all of our true needs in Jesus. As I struggle to believe this today, I try to picture my Father, tucking me in, speaking quiet and calming words of love, encouraging me to rest. And I surrender to sleep.