Inappropriately Furious

Anyone who has spent any time with toddler boys has likely had to rescue one from drowning at some point, especially if those two-year-old bodies were attached to exceptionally large heads.

For so many years, David and I were the lucky parents of three, particularly large-headed, toddler sons. This meant the Hall boys could be counted on to launch head-long into any pool within two minutes upon arrival.

As you can imagine, this was most relaxing for everyone poolside.

What I recall from the terror of those years was that two of our three boys were appropriately grateful and humble upon being rescued from the bottom of the pool, while one was always inappropriately furious.


The picture posted is of the aforementioned ungrateful and furious child. It was taken directly after he was unwillingly rescued – yet again – from death by drowning.

This third son of mine didn’t like to be saved or helped, whether it be from treetops, territorial dogs, terribly incensed older brothers, or the bottom floor of all the pools.

This naturally made him a special joy to parent in the summertime, or outside, or really any time at all. For he took it as a personal failure – an absolute affront – when his parents would not permit him to die trying to save himself.

For once we were foolish and stubborn and disobedient. But when the kindness of God appeared – He saved us – not because of our righteous works, but according to his own compassion and mercy. (Titus 3)

During Advent, we remember the kindness and compassion of a just God who appeared to save a drowning world that really didn’t want to be helped.

Even as the death-water filled our lungs; even as we sank down to the depths; even as we were desperately drowning – even so – we insisted we’d rather die trying to save ourselves than accept our Father’s help.

I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD. (Isaiah 63)

But the kindness and compassion of God appeared in our distress. The kindness and compassion of God appeared as a baby boy; who grew into a toddler with his own limited lungs and heartbeat; who grew up into a teen with his own hormones and friendships; who grew into an honorable and innocent man who would not finally be rescued.

The kindness of God appeared as a beloved only son who would be violently dragged under by death so that his brothers and sisters might live. Father, give us eyes to see your loving-kindness. You suffered a parent’s greatest grief so that your human family might be rescued

Thank you for doing for us what we could never do for ourselves.

Jesus, thank you for entering into our human distress while we were still stubborn, ungrateful, and utterly lost. Thank you for drawing near. You could have called down the angels – the whole host of heaven was ready to pull you from the depths – but instead you gave your own humble spirit up to your Father. You breathed your last breath so we might be with you and yours forever.

Thank you for doing for us what we could never do for ourselves.

Holy Spirit, thank you for showing us the many kindnesses of the one true God through his world, his Word, and his beloved family. You are our light in the dark and our comfort in the deep. Flood our hearts with renewed hope and joy in our salvation.

Thank you for doing in us what we could never do for ourselves.

Shalom to you today friends. And may our lives be marked by appropriate thankfulness, humility, and joy as we consider the kindness of a rescuing God who does for us what we could never do for ourselves.


PS. I must take a minute to encourage parents of, ahem, feisty toddlers. The little boy in this story has grown into a young man I’d follow anywhere. And when others are in distress, he’s there, full of compassion, ready and willing to rescue.

3 responses to Inappropriately Furious

  1. Kathy Zaccone says:

    What a wonderful way to pit “new eyes” in my head to appreciate again the miracle of the Lord’s condescension and sacrifice for us! Thank you Kim!

  2. Sandi says:

    Kim, I can’t thank you enough for this post….I’ve been behind this Christmas and angry with myself for it and frustrated at everything that has not gone well and easily in my last-minute rush. It has grieved me that my heart has not been prepared to truly celebrate the birth of my Savior, but I have not taken the time to meet with Him at length to have my heart changed because I didn’t believe I had that kind of time to give, and I feared it wouldn’t happen at all. But this morning, this Christmas morning, everything is done and I am the only one awake in a houseful of people and your post has broken my heart with a glimpse, as Kathy already mentioned, of the condescension of the LORD on our behalf. Thank you for continuing to “parent” us grown-up toddlers with too-big heads and hearts full of pride and self who do not do what we should do when we should do it. I pray this precious day with your family will be as blessed as I now believe mine will be.

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