There are some things over which we have control and some over which we do not.
Yesterday, Pete was getting dressed for church when I saw how his pants fit. “Whoa!” I thought and told him there was NO way he was going to wear those pants to church because they were so small on him that they might not stay up without the sides splitting. Then we were hard-pressed to find a pair that still fit him amongst his other options.
Seeing this pair of pants this morning reminded me that children’s physical growth isn’t something over which we have total control. We know that how* we nurture our children can assist or stunt their growth, but other issues, such as our children’s genes or any disease, illness, or accident that may arise–things that are mostly out of our control–also can play a very significant part.
This reminded me of my own life. Being a parent often reminds me about being a child of my Heavenly Father. These too-small pants did. There are parts of my life that I have control over and am responsible for, such as how I spend my time, energy, and other resources, and the attitude with which I pursue them. I can do a lot to grow in my life, and then other times, I have to wait upon the Lord. I found this interesting quote while searching for something else this morning:
“What we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity. “For I [said the Lord] will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:9; see also Jer. 17:10). Alma said, “I know that [God] granteth unto men according to their desire, … I know that he allotteth unto men … according to their wills” (Alma 29:4). To reach this equitable end, God’s canopy of mercy is stretched out, including “all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of [the gospel], who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
“For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:8–9).
God thus takes into merciful account not only our desires and our performance, but also the degrees of difficulty which our varied circumstances impose upon us. No wonder we will not complain at the final judgment, especially since even the telestial kingdom’s glory “surpasses all understanding” (D&C 76:89). God delights in blessing us, especially when we realize “joy in that which [we] have desired” (D&C 7:8)….
It is up to us. God will facilitate, but He will not force.” (“According to the desire of [our] hearts,” October 1996 general conference).
But then there are other parts of life over which I don’t have control, which are in God’s hands.
Learning to trust that God really does have me and my life in his hands and that everything is going to be OK in the short or long run, has been a growth process for me. Motherhood has really helped me gain more perspective on how, like a wise and loving parent, God really does have my best interests in mind, and I really can trust him.
Fear can be so crippling, but motherhood has helped me recognize that if I really want to become like God, He’s going to help me get there, step by step, day by day. I am coming to realize that faith in God, along with my best efforts to accomplish what I desire or to help a family member accomplish his or her goals, helps me overcome the fear and allows me to feel peace. I am learning that God will come through. He always has. He keeps coming through. Growth will happen. It will! I just have to keep trusting that growth and progression and happiness and that beautiful, bright sunshine in life will come. God is in charge of that part. It’s His end of the deal, and He always keeps his promises.
“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6; emphasis added).
Just like children grow up and out of their clothing, God will take care of me and my family as we trust and keep trying to do what He asks. I like knowing that. I think I’ll start singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” (and go for a walk!).
Happy Having Faith, Singing and Handing Down Clothing,
*How does our nurturing affect our children’s growth? I’m not an expert, but this seems to me to be somewhat basic factors that affect a child’s growth:
- Good dental care. Cavities can affect a child’s weight. If we help our children establish good dental hygiene habits, it will impact their overall health. (If you have a toothache, it probably doesn’t feel very good to eat!)
- Good nutrition. Children can’t grow without sufficient food or grow well or to their potential with food that is not sufficiently nutritious.
- Sufficient rest. “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” (Benjamin Franklin)
- Clean home environment and good hygiene habits, such as hand-washing, to avoid illness. Certainly preventable chronic illness can affect our growth.
- Sunshine and exercise! I need to stop typing and get some!
- Love. I don’t know if love helps you be taller or not, but I do not that being raised in a loving, nurturing environments does affect our health. One article claims it can affect the brain development of a child.