My seven-year-old son has a strong sense of justice, at least when he’s not the one whose actions are in question. He’s quick to report any offense of which he sees himself victim. And often he’s compassionate enough to stand up when his friends face potential mistreatment.
The other day, he decided to call me to the bench while he stood judge and jury. Why, he wondered, did Daddy and I have two fans in our room when he didn’t have any? On this unseasonably warm spring day, it seemed a fair question. Maybe, just maybe, we were withholding from him. And maybe we loved ourselves a little bit more.
Except the aspiring lawyer overlooked one key piece of evidence: the air conditioner in his own room that was clearly not present in ours.
Yes, what he did not see was that Mommy and Daddy decided he should enjoy the cool comfort afforded by that air conditioner while we took the room without. We chose to love him enough to give him the blessing of a restful night of sweat-free sleep while we often bake in the rising heat, even with two fans. When he finally understood, his accusations came to a swift halt.
Now I know that for most of the world, air conditioning itself is a luxury of dreams. So to say we’ve sacrificed for our son is a little extreme. In the overall scheme of things, this is just one small way we’ve put our children before ourselves.
But the situation did remind me a little of myself. How often I come to God with accusation in my heart, questioning his love because things did not go as I expected. How often I ignore the sacrifices he’s already made for me, all because I’m so focused on what I want and don’t have.
Oh, the things we don’t always see.
Not only has God given us life and breath. Not only has he given us a hope and a future. But he gave his only son that “whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” We’ll never fully know the extremes he went to that we would know his love and receive his life.
And beyond that, he’s always and ever “working everything for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose”. He never sleeps. Every detail of our lives, woven into a perfect tapestry because of his infinite love.
What we don’t always see is the other side of the tapestry. We’re so focused on the loose strands so evident from this side of eternity, we miss the work of the master artist that will show itself beautiful in its perfect time. Abba, father…open our eyes. Help us to see. And forgive our ingratitude.