"...means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation!" Oswald Chambers
We got a call from the school today. Rachel just wasn't acting like her "happy" self! Something was wrong! Her teacher was sure it was something with her heart "boo-boo".
"Hurry!... Grab your keys! Somebody get to the school... now!" Mommy or Daddy to the rescue! But as Daddy raced out the front door toward his car, I was suddenly reminded of a passing thought I'd had as I pulled Rachel's shirt over her head this morning. Much of her "boo-boo" could be seen with this particular shirt... hmmm... wonder if that will be a problem? Surely not... she's had such a "boo-boo" since before she could remember! I finished dressing her, put a pretty bow in her hair, and sent my happy girl off for the day.
I grabbed a "boo-boo-hiding" tank top and tossed it to him as he sped away. I had a sneaking suspicion that her heart was suddenly "hurting", but unfortunately, this kind of hurting heart could not be fixed. Sadly... my suspicions were exactly what I had feared! One too many kindergarteners had pointed... one too many had asked questions she didn't have the English to answer... and now she suddenly wanted to hide what she couldn't change. Rachel grabbed the tank top immediately when she saw it in Daddy's hands... She scurried to the bathroom to change and returned with her familiar smile. All was well again... her "boo-boo" was hidden from sight!
This is sooooo not OK with me!!! I wanted to jump in my car and head directly to that school myself! I'd interrogate every kindergarten student I could find... cross exam them one by one! Send all the offenders to Kindergarten Detention or something! If no one else is going to defend my little girl, I WILL!!! ..."Who did it? Huh? How dare you make my precious baby feel embarrassed? You must have missed the announcement, because that little girl is a hero! That "boo-boo" you're pointing at is her badge of courage!!!"
Everything in my Mommy's heart wants to make it better for Rachel, but I can't!
My youngest daughter, Ellie, was born without a left hand. To make matters worse, her left arm is now nearly 6 inches shorter than her right. It just never really occurred to me that this might be an "issue", as it certainly wasn't for me! I had my first "rude awakening" before we even left China, when several older women took one look at her and actually SPIT on her in disgust! As she grew and became more aware of her special hand, I found myself trying to protect her from staring eyes and overly curious children. Most were just fascinated and asked questions, but I knew that this unwanted attention was beginning to bother Ellie when I saw her in a crowd of children she did not know, trying to hide her boo-boo hand. It broke my heart!
Ellie is the most joy-filled little girl you'll ever meet! She is kind and so, so tender hearted. If someone else is hurting; if someone else is crying... Ellie will cry along! So it's not hard to understand why I am simply not OK with my little girl's hurting heart... and her feeling as if she needed to hide what I thought made her most beautiful! I nearly assaulted two little girls at the McDonald's PlayLand one day when I witnessed their jeers and stares at Ellie with my own eyes!... "Where are your mothers? If they're not going to do something about this... then maybe I should!"
Everything in my Mommy's heart wants to make it better for Ellie, but I can't!
Just today, my oldest son walked in my front door, discouraged and disappointed. He unloaded his burdens on my already heavy heart. His circumstances were unjust, with not much hope of change on the horizon. And even though my son is 24 years old, the fighter in me rose up again for the second time today! "Who do I need to set straight about this? You stay right here, Russ! I'll take care of it!!!"
Everything in my Mommy's heart wants to make it better for Russ, but I can't!
I decided to go on a bike ride to work off my energy, since the other options in doing so might completely ruin my Christian witness! As is my habit (one of my better ones!), I blurted out my frustrations to the Lord! "Everything in ME wants to do something... I can't! But, YOU Lord! You're all knowing... all loving... all powerful! You're our defender... our advocate! Please... do something! Why aren't you???"
My mind scrolled back to the many times He had done something! After all... I'd discovered many years ago that I was utterly powerless to change most things that needed changing. I learned that simple lesson in the first semester of Marriage 101!!! :-) I smiled as I remembered the first time I forced myself to keep my mouth shut with my young husband and let God "do the talkin' " for me! In less than 24 hours Doug had come to me to ask forgiveness for the "un-mentioned" offense... He'd "read this" or "heard that" today and knew that God was talking directly to him about the way he had treated me! "Thank you, Lord! You did such a better job than I could have ever done!" I tried not to gloat!
I'll never forget the weekend I went out of town for a speaking engagement and left Doug with our three kids and the 5,000 square foot home we were "house-sitting"! The home was on the market and would need to be cleaned and ready to show should an interested buyer want to take a look. In the 3 years we'd lived there, this had only happened a dozen times or so. But I'd been feeling a little weary and "taken for granted" by my wonderful husband, so I asked the Lord if He might "arrange" things so that Doug might experience things from my point of view while I was away! You can only guess how absolutely thrilled I was when Doug called me on Saturday morning in a state of panic! The realtor was bringing a prospective buyer to our home in one short hour!!! What was he to do???
"Thank you, Lord! You did such a better job than I could have ever done!" Again, I really tried not to gloat! :-)
But today... heaven seemed silent! Where was God when you really needed Him, I wondered? My little girl needs you! My big boy needs you! I need you! Where are you??
Suddenly it occurred to me... and I mean suddenly! Maybe God wasn't the problem at all! Maybe the root of my problems were the very prayers themselves! As I looked back over my adult life, I realized that almost 100% of the prayers spoken from difficult circumstances or the circumstances of the people I love were that God would intervene, defend, heal, bless, provide. Inevitably, I asked God to "do something" and provide the outcome I desired. Now, suddenly, I realize that so often God chooses to not change life's circumstances, but instead, use life's circumstances to change ME!
I'd like to think that I've thought of this before, and maybe I have... But today was a major "Ah-hah!" moment in my spiritual walk and it changes just about everything about my prayer life!
...Like the way I pray for God to do a miracle in my daughters' lives and replace their insecurities with an even greater Security. That they would discover even now that true joy comes from Him alone!
...Or the way I pray for Him to do a work in my son's heart ~ that he would defend those treated unjustly and stand up for the Truth, even if he stands alone.
Most importantly, it changes how I pray about my own circumstances... I'd be lying if I said that I still don't want peace, or relief from pain, or restoration in broken places, or a complete healing of Rachel's heart... But there is something I ultimately want so much more! I want the Lord to change me! I want Him to do a miracle in my heart and make it more like His!