Recently our daughter was playing in the kitchen while I cleaned up dinner. At this point there are only two drawers that aren’t child-proofed. Those two drawers are where we keep all of her dishes and things, and she’s free to pull them out and play with them as she likes. As I was cleaning up our dinner, she tried to get into cabinets that are protected. Then she tried to get into drawers that have locks on them. Finally, she reached ‘her’ drawers and went to town.
What was beautiful was that she wasn’t distraught over the fact that there were drawers and cabinets that she isn’t allowed in yet. Instead, she simply kept trying until she found something she could play with, someplace that was opened to her. As I watched her try drawers that she can’t get into and then finally gain access to one, I was struck by the profundity of her actions and reactions. In a way, it was like that saying about God and how He doesn’t close a door without opening a window; our daughter kept looking for that open window.
One of the things I love about parenthood is that it allows me tiny glimpses into how God sees us. Often times He ‘child-proofs’ things to keep us away from things we aren’t ready for, things we can’t handle yet, things that are simply too much for us, or things we haven’t yet learned the skills for. Yet time and time again we keep reaching for those proverbial drawers that we can’t get into. Instead of moving on, trying to find something we do have access to, we keep trying the same drawer over and over again, crying out to God in frustration, wondering why He would be so cruel as to deny us access.
If we, as parents, know what drawers our kids can and can’t handle, doesn’t God know – all the more – what things we are ready for and which things we aren’t? Would it not, then, make more sense to keep trying new drawers in hopes of finding something we do have access to instead of wasting our energy and being angry at God for denying us? Whether it is a dating relationship we desire but don’t have, a job we think is our dream job but ultimately doesn’t hire us, or some other struggle in life, at the end of the day, God knows best.
As soon as my daughter found the drawers that weren’t child-proofed, she pulled them open and said “oooh!” as she gazed with wonder and awe at what lay before her. In an instant, she’d forgotten about the struggle to find the open drawer and rejoiced at what she could have rather than complaining about what she couldn’t have. Simple as it is, I learned something profound from my daughter and the baby-proofed drawers: it isn’t frustrating that certain things are off limits for now, instead, it gives us an opportunity to persevere in our present situation and rejoice all the more when we find a door, a window, or a drawer that we can get into.