There is nothing that my son detests more than being strapped in his car seat. I’m the lucky one who gets to see his tear-stained face up close, and experience his deafening wails of protest, as I sit beside him at the back seat of our SUV.
Perhaps it’s motion sickness, or maybe he just doesn’t want the feeling of being constrained. I’ve tried several tricks – playing his favourite songs on the car radio; letting him have his favourite toys; giving him a bottle, teether or a dummy; letting him suck my finger; installing a mirror on the headboard (his car seat is rear-facing); and as a last resort, letting him watch videos of The Minions on my iPhone. All these would work for a while, then he would start to fidget and utter some baby talk as if trying to say that he is getting uncomfortable. This would then build up to a soft cry, which will quickly escalate to the point-of-no-return, legitimate ear-splitting wails.
Feeling defeated, I would just let him be. Maybe he will get tired of crying and fall asleep, which happens sometimes, after 45 minutes straight of making our car ride a misery.
On a recent episode of his car seat drama, I was just looking at him and hoping that he would understand that it’s in his best interest why he’s there, strapped in his car seat. As responsible parents who love him more than life itself, we put him in his car seat because that’s the safest place he could be during our journey.
Then an epiphany hit me. I saw myself in my son. I’m the same way when God puts me in a situation that seems uncomfortable, or when I feel I don’t have control over my circumstances. More often than not, I wail in protest for a way out.
At that moment, I realised that if you find yourself in a situation that at the time seems unpleasant, perhaps it’s essential for the journey so that God can bring you where you need to be.
As Christians, we are not exempted from troubles in this fallen world. In fact, the Bible guarantees it. Yet, it also comes with a reassurance.
John 16:33 (ESV)
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
In times of tribulation, we can have peace in Christ; not because the trials are easy, but because they are temporary. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, He already conquered sin and death, and an eternal glory awaits those who put their faith in Him.
*Now, if only I could translate this in baby talk that my son would understand. Haha.*