a love that witholds

Several weeks back we began to realize that Isaac was becoming increasingly attached to his pacifier. Though only allowed to have it in his crib, he would ask for it constantly, particularly when upset or in trouble. So one morning we decided enough was enough, and declared it “big boy” day for Isaac. Pacifiers went in the trash.

Isaac, whose personality is passionate and stubborn, asked for his pacifier at crib time. And nap time. And bed time. And in the night when he woke. And in the morning. And in the car. You get the picture. But the asking has gradually subsided. All in all, he has handled the adjustment pretty well.

Just two nights ago, he woke in the night, screaming tearfully for his pacifier. He would not be held or even consoled by his blankie (which has been promoted due to the retiring of his pacifier). As I shut his bedroom door and let him howl, the thought crossed my mind that I had stashed an extra pacifier in the medicine box. I could just give it to him…for tonight…we would all sleep better…

I decided against it, figuring it would only confuse him and make it more difficult to take it away again. The howling subsided after a few minutes.

Then I began to think about love. It’s funny that love can be giving tirelessly or choosing not to give at all.

The next day we got a call from our mortgage company (cue ominously foreboding music in the background- that’s how I feel when we hear from our mortgage company lately.) The loan is delayed…again…due to technicalities and wordings and things out of our control. “Will we live in a basement forever?” Drew lamented, practically reading my mind.

As I thought about my heavenly Father, about how easy it would be for Him to smooth all this out and plop us in a house, it occurred to me that I have only a small idea of what it is like to withhold from one you love. God’s resources are inexhaustible and yet He is constantly letting His children go without…or wait…or endure…in order that their character might be formed and their hearts drawn more closely to Him. I am like my Isaac- crying out constantly for my pacifier (in this case- a house!), thinking that if He would only give me that, all would be well. And instead, God withholds what I am calling for so that I might learn to just want Him.

In a time of quiet rest last week, I was thinking about the house and a verse popped into my mind.”Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.” That truth settled over me like a soft blanket, enveloping my soul and heart in peaceful contentment. To wait is a gift; it teaches patience and builds character. But to desire God in the waiting; that is truly a blessing.

0 thoughts on “a love that witholds”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *