I started researching the Montessori method about a month ago, to implement here in our home instead of a preschool. And one of the books said that toddlers cannot yet reason. It is around three years of age when children can begin to reason-- and therefore make constructive decisions about their behavior. Up to that point it's basically our job as parents (so far as discipline goes) to reason for them. I know he that should not go outside when it's around a hundred degrees, so I reason for him, and then I set the parameters of his behavior, i.e., we stay inside. He doesn't have to understand, and truly, he cannot, why he must stay inside, but it's not his job to know why. He just has to obey, tantrums or not. And we say, "Trust us, Elias;" that this is the way it has to be. It's for his own good.
I've realized that I have acted, and even continue to act, like a toddler with God. My circumstances look a certain way, because He has ordered events and circumstances to be that way for my good. He does not reason with me, because I cannot understand His reasoning, and so I throw a fit. I sulk. I cry. I beg Him to change His mind. I don't understand that because it's so hot outside, that I could get sick. That it wouldn't be good for me. That I wouldn't have fun anyway, even though I think I would!
This is the hard part with adults and toddlers. We think we understand what would be best. We don't.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD."