I was reading in Judges about all of the times the Israelites turned away from God, and He punished them by putting them under another people. Then they cried & cried until He couldn't take it anymore, and He sent someone to free them.
Most of us have heard the story of Moses bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, but read through Judges sometime. The Israelites somehow forgot how God brought them out of slavery. They just kept turning their backs on God only to beg for His mercy. They would even serve other gods!
It reminds me of when I get angry at Moose because he does something he knows he isn't supposed to do (i.e. take the remote, play with my cell phone, get in the garbage & eat out of it, or bite me), and I get mad at him. I stop playing, I punish him by turning the tv off or just not turning a toy on for him or just kind of ignore him. He knows when I'm upset. He'll cry when I ignore him or toss a toy aside or even when I take something away from him (like the remote).
I listen to him cry and it's hardly a moment until I can't stand it. I look at this cute little guy, begging to be held, to be forgiven. And it breaks my heart (even writing about it is breaking my heart....here come the tears). I grab the toy and turn it on. I don't relinquish on my earlier attempts at discipline: it's still not ok to have the remote or my cell phone, it's not ok to eat out of the garbage or take a magazine out of there, and it's not ok to bite or hit. But I forgive him, again and again. Even when he drags the remote around the living room for the 40th time in a day.
How can I not? He's my child. Just like we are God's children. He always forgives us, but He never says it's ok to turn from Him. He is God, the one and only. He hears our cries. He may just need to let us cry for awhile (like when we were sleep training Moose; it was SO hard to hear him cry, but I knew it would be better in the end - and it is).
Lately I've been crying to God: why haven't we found a job? why don't we have money? why might I have to get a job? why can't we afford another baby? etc. Thursday morning, I hit a down spiral in my faith when I got to a point where I wondered if God was really listening to my pleas and my cries. Then I remembered what I read Wednesday night. He hears me and it's probably hurting Him to see me in pain or anguish, even upset. But in the larger scheme of things, this may be what's best for me. This time of growth where I have to lean on Him, where I can't just figure it out on my own. This is the time when I get to be close to Him, be quiet and listen to Him. Only then will He lean down and pick me up. Only then will He brush my tears away and whisper "it's ok. I'm sorry I had to let you cry, but it's ok now."
Isn't that amazing??