Timzilla

Timmy on DishwasherTimzilla. The Timminator. The Minister of Household Redistribution of Objects, Jr. (Lindsey was Sr.) All these are nicknames for our youngest child Timmy.

At not-quite-one-year-old, he not only walks, but runs. He’s fast, too. I turn away from him for just a second, and when I turn back, he’s gone. Then it’s anybody’s guess as to whether he’s heading for the toilet (to drop something in, or simply play in the water) or the poor cat’s litter box (today he was trying to stuff a dustpan in there while the cat was still inside).

He’s smart. He’s quick. And he’s determined. We’ve childproofed the best we can, but he’s figured out how to defeat at least one of our child locks. We tried to put up a baby gate to keep him out of certain areas, but he scaled it and was on his way headfirst down the other side when we caught him. We’ve told the older kids to keep the bathroom doors closed so he can’t get in, but they don’t always remember.

Timmy Under SinkAll this means that we have to provide more supervision for Timmy than we did for any of our other kids at this age. We love it that he’s curious, and we want him to be able to learn and explore. But we also want him to be safe.

Therefore, we have to have restrict some of his activities. For example, he’s not allowed to eat the cat food or dip his pacifier in the cat’s water. (Eewww.) We also on occasion have to remove him abruptly from a situation he’s gotten himself into (such as the time at the library recently when he began scaling the magazine rack and got stuck), which makes him fuss or cry unless we successfully distract him with some new adventure.

Timmy at LibraryWhy do we limit activities that he loves so much? To prevent him from making himself sick or injuring himself. Why do we pull him away from whatever the current Promised Land might be, even though he cries? To protect him.

If I told you that we allowed him to play in the litter box, go outside on his own, or store his pacifiers in the toilet, and didn’t stop him, you’d wonder what was wrong with us. You might even wonder whether we truly loved Timmy. That’s because as any parent knows, loving a child requires setting boundaries which they may NOT cross—at least not without serious consequences.

You know that. I know that.

Why, then, when God marks something “off-limits” in our lives, or when He delivers some serious consequences, do we accuse Him of not really loving us, or of not wanting us to have any fun? Why do we kick, scream, and cry?

It’s because we don’t realize that God sets limits and makes rules for our protection.

He knows exactly which things will make us sick or injure us, whether physically or spiritually. He knows what we need to be removed from right now, no matter how much we kick and scream. He knows what things to close the door on so we can’t just walk right in like we would otherwise. Yet instead of being grateful when we find a closed door or read a biblical command to avoid something—grateful God has marked out where the danger lies, so that we can avoid it—we get mad. Resentful. Often, we kick down the door and walk in, or we ignore the “No Trespassing” sign, only to find that—surprise, surprise—God knew what He was talking about in the first place, and we should have listened.

Which of God’s commands do you chafe about having to obey? And what difference would it make for you if you realized that God was directing you into paths of abundant life instead of placing an unreasonable burden upon you?

Which doors are you trying to break down, despite the fact that God has told you to keep out?

Is there something you resent Him for not allowing you to do? Or are you perhaps jealous that others “get away with” doing something God has told you not to do?

Someday, when he is older, Timmy will look back on the rules I enforced with him, and he’ll be grateful I didn’t let him do those things. And someday, when we reach heaven, we’ll look back and realize all the dangers and sorrows God kept us from by structuring things the way He did.

Until then…until we understand…let us never forget that He always knows what He’s doing.

And that if we disagree with Him about the benefits of one of His commands, He’s not the one who’s wrong.

1 John 5:3—This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.

Timmy Makes a Mess

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