Ever wonder why things just can't be easy all the time? When you're having a hard day, a conflict with someone, a bunch of stuff goes wrong or just bugs you.... have you ever wondered why it couldn't just all work itself out? Why does it have to be so hard?
And if you were hoping that I had the answer, I will tell you right now that I don't! Sorry to disappoint.
I had one of those days yesterday. Just about everything that could go wrong, did. Actually, not really everything ~ there are lots of worse things that could have happened, but I mean that everything in the normal course of our day was just "off." We were all exhausted from the care giving we've been doing, so we intentionally slept in. Started school late. Children felt pressured to "catch up." I couldn't help each child right at the moment they needed me to. Frustration mounted throughout the day. It was a soccer-practice-mad-dash-to-church-while-eating-dinner-in-the-car evening, and I was looking forward to meeting my husband in the church parking lot, switching vehicles, and going home for my only-90-minutes-of alone-time-I-get-all-week (literally).
Hubby needed to help his dad and sister with something, and called to tell me he wouldn't be able to make it to church. I would have to go back and pick up the kids after Awana and youth group. Heavy sigh.
But I'd still have the time between dropping them off and picking them up, right?????
One son did not get required work done, so had to stay home from youth group to finish it. With my help. Even though we'd started school later than usual, with good time management he could have had it done. Heavy sigh.
We sat down to work on his writing assignment, which had been his afternoon "block" work (remember the new block schedule?) that he had not even started. Outline was not in his writing notebook. Nor was it at the computer, in his room, the schoolroom, the kitchen, or anywhere else in the house.
I told him it looked like we'd have to start from scratch and make a new outline, but let's pray first and ask the Lord to help us find it. Son gets a hopeful look in his eye and eagerly prays with me that God would reveal the whereabouts of the missing outline. I could tell he fully expected the outline to magically appear as soon as we finished praying.
But it didn't.
He continued searching with renewed vigor. "Mommy, I just know God is going to answer our prayer."
We look in all the same places a third time.
"Honey, it might still turn up, but let's use the time we're spending right now looking for it, on making a new one. At least then we can move forward with this assignment."
Son very reluctantly sat down next to me and we began the process of outlining. He was disappointed, but held it together pretty well. I was proud of him. As we were working on his fourth or fifth sentence he said with a quiver in his voice, "I thought God always answered our prayers."
I am silent as the weight of the moment sinks in.
What an important and revealing statement! Lord, give me wisdom. Calm my frazzled nerves. Please use me here and now in the life of my son, in spite of myself.
"He does. But He doesn't always answer with a 'yes', or in the way that we want Him to."
More silence as the truth of those words sinks in to both our hearts.
No more is said of God and prayer for awhile. We finish outlining two paragraphs and I leave him to begin writing from the outline while I run up to church to pick up the other children.
About a half hour after the kids and I were back home, hubby gets home. Within 5 minutes of his arrival, he locates the original outline (under a small bookcase in our kitchen, upside down so the white paper blended in with our kitchen flooring). The original paper included outlines for all four paragraphs of his writing assignment, so during our evening of work we have only duplicated two of them. Son is ECSTATIC!
"You're right! He did answer! Just not when I wanted him to. Maybe he wanted to teach me patience, or teach me to work harder earlier in the day so I wouldn't have to miss youth group."
Could this be why the day was so hard? To teach my son (and me) an important lesson that couldn't be learned if it had been easy? To make me rely on His strength? To show Himself faithful, in His own time? All of the above?
I don't know. Probably.
What I do know is that my son learned an important lesson. I do know that I had to rely on Him because my patience and strength were gone, gone, gone. I do know that He was, is, and will forever be faithful, because that is who He is. And I do know that He operates outside of time, while I am very tied to time, and I kindof like things to happen right now.
It is always GREAT when things are easy. I like easy as much as anyone. But there is a point to things being hard. And I want to get it. I want to learn it. I want to grow from it. Because I really want to not just get older, I want to mature. And also it would be kindof nice if I learned it well the first time so it wouldn't have to be so hard the next time.....
(yes, I am a wimp)