I don’t know how much truth there is behind the saying that a child will perceive God the way they saw their father.
I remember as a young kid having a dream about a blue lion morphing out of a rocky cliff face and calling out ‘daddy!’ I thought he could come and beat it up. I never saw my dad hit anyone. I woke up and he was there. I had another dream once where a line of cars was streaming into our carport and I couldn’t get home. Then the scene jumped ahead and my dad was there surveying the carport and saying that it would be alright now.
I think that back then my picture of God was the omnipotence and help that would be there.
One night when I was about five years old or so, I couldn’t sleep because of some loud traffic outside in the street. When I told my dad this he said that he couldn’t go out in the street and make the cars be quiet.
I realized that just then that he couldn’t. I was disillusioned.
When I asked God to heal my daughter and lost her anyway after 3 ½ years of praying my heart out I felt the same way.
But my dad could have gone into the street and held out his hands and quieted the cars. He could have blocked the road with our Volkswagen. He could have thrown nails down on the pavement or borrowed a neighbor’s firearm and threatened or worse. But even then I realized that his limitations were out of what was right.
Of course God could have healed Naomi. He could gather up her ashes that have drifted now around the world’s oceans and reassemble them into her. But that wasn’t what was right.
To this day I still grapple wondering what the point of praying all that time was when the plan was set. It is something that I get over and then slump into again but I try not to let it shake my faith.
Mostly I try to love my kids the way God wants me to.