The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 16, 2013

Focus on what's really important

Keeping The Faith column

By Bev Davis
Columnist

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Sept. 26, 2009.



Have you ever found yourself asking a really stupid question?

You know, something like asking a small child, “Do you want a spanking, or do you want to sit down and be quiet?”

Not much of a choice, is it?

Stupid questions usually lead to stupid answers — or none at all.

Whether I mean to or not, I often ask a stupid question at the most inopportune times.

Yesterday, I asked a friend a whole series of them. “Why do you think your 4-year-old throws such tantrums? Do you think he has anger issues? Could he possibly have ADHD?”

Fortunately, she’s a mom who has it all together and doesn’t go into a panic when her kids do things that would cause me to have a nervous breakdown.

“No-o-o-o,” she said with a slow, deliberate drawl. “He’s at the age where we have a daily battle of the wills, and he’s testing the limits of the boundaries his dad and I have set for him. When we refuse to get rattled and hold our ground with him, he settles down and accepts his limits.”

Well, I would have flunked Parenting 101.

The truth is, most situations don’t involve rocket science or years of psychotherapy to unravel. Most of them involve our tendency to be self-centered and to always vie for what we want. When someone else, be it a parent, spouse, boss or life in general, holds the reins that define our boundaries, we get angry. We pout. We throw tantrums. We test the limits.

It’s long been my philosophy that when it comes to temperament, adults are just children who got bigger.

I wish I were more mature, especially in my relationship with God. I wish I could learn  — really learn — His delays are not denials. When He withholds something I want or sends something difficult my way, I wish I could remember He always has my best interests at heart. I’m all into desiring comfort. He’s all into developing character.

As Joyce Meyer often says, two of the most futile questions are, “Why, God, why?” and “When, God, when?”

When I think about it, God doesn’t ask me stupid questions. Like, “Do you want to talk and act like a Christian or do you want Me to slam dunk you into some kind of misery?”

The questions I hear Him whisper to my heart most often are, “Bev, do you trust Me? Will you walk through this time of trial or trouble with Me so you will be stronger and become more faithful to Me?”

God’s questions focus me on what’s really important. I find safety within the boundaries He sets for me. I find security in knowing He has all the right answers, and He will share them with me when I’m ready to understand them.

Isn’t it just really stupid to think we’re smarter than He is?