So here's how it goes...
You are pregnant, have morning sickness, swell up, go into labor, have PAIN!, and then welcome the sweetest little one known to humankind.
Then you spend lots of money feeding, doctoring, clothing and buying all the "essentials" for the little tyke. He keeps you up all night, you feed her from your body draining calcium and nutrients from your own stores, you give up your career and your life.
You take pictures, the little one becomes the center of your every moment, you fall helplessly in love and you naturally and voluntarily over commit to this new life.
You pray, you coax, you love, you discipline, you read endless stories, you give cute birthday parties, you change diapers, clean up all sorts of body fluids, and you love every minute of it until...
You get the rolled eyes, the smart mouth, the disobedience, the disdain, the slamming doors and the harsh criticism as the love of your life rebels against you, its life giver.
As we read in Isaiah this morning, this was God's experience with the people of Israel. God has rebellious children.
God---the perfect one, the one who could teach parenting classes,---struggled with parenting also.
I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.
God shares openly with his children. God even invites a reasonable conversation; treats them---us---with adulthood respect, despite our adolescent tendancies.
But God also gives his children a tongue lashing and we wonder if these differences will ever be resolved.
For any of us who have ever gone to bed at night wondering if our children, our beloved ones, will ever find the way, the truth and the life, it is good to know that we are in good company.
God has cried into his pillow at night for his children, too.