Our dear Eliana recently turned five. Five. How did that happen? I feel like she was just born. Five means a lot of things, but I think the one that she enjoys the most is the fact that she no longer has to take naps. Technically, this has been going on for a while, but now its official. She gets to have “rest time” which means she basically gets to hang out in the play room, play school with her menagerie of stuffed animals or play games on her Leap pad.
But. Some days. Some days she’s just flat exhausted. Her eyes get this glazed over, half crazy look and I know I’m gonna have to make her take a dreaded “sleeping nap.” I know that this is going to mean much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but it’s what she needs. So, because I love her, in mercy, I make her go to sleep. And you know what? When she wakes up, she’s back. She’s the Eliana we all know and love and not the wild animal that sleep deprivation turns her into. How? Why? I’m her mom and I know what’s best for her. Despite how terrifically unpopular my decision is, sometimes sleep is what she needs even if she goes to bed kicking and screaming.
After one of these particular afternoons last week it occurred to me that this is exactly what God has to do with me sometimes. He knows what I need, even if it’s not what I want. He knows me, he sees that wild look I get in my eyes and heart sometimes, and he does what he knows is best for me. Even if it’s moving me away from everyone and everything I know and love time and again. Even if it’s a life that I never would have guessed for myself. In mercy, He is again and again driving me to himself.
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” -Psalm 23:4b