“Seriously, boys? Can’t we just have one car ride without screaming?” Glare, stomp, pout. So often I act as if trouble is an injustice to me, as if I deserve a day without boys fighting and dumping a box of Cheez-Its in the back of my car!
In this life we WILL have trouble! On paper, I expect it, but when it happens to me, I am still surprised.
Imagine something with me…
Imagine, with a faith-filled imagination, guided by the words of Scripture:
Imagine God, who is and was and ever shall be.
And us, His children, lovingly created by His hand.
Imagine yourself as a squalling infant, welcomed, fed, and cared-for, yet fighting against help and fresh clothing and a mother’s embrace. Imagine being so confused as to cry about the chill of the waters of Baptism, to fuss in response to the gift of eternal life.
Imagine yourself now, not much bigger (in spirit),
still breathing grace, still surrounded by His provision, His gifts.
Imagine your life, sustained and growing, as a branch on a vine.
Imagine our vinedresser is our Father, who loves us and cares for us as He has promised. Imagine He seeks only our good, our REAL good, the kind that has to do with eternal things and not just having a pleasant uninterrupted phone call.
Imagine we are still infants in many ways, so little in Christ that we have to be told what is good and bad, what is poison and what is blessing. Just like a two year old will fight gravity, and lose, so we fight to avoid falling down on the inside, because we like to pretend we are adults, like we can do it all by our OWN selves. Then something minor, like a broken lamp, sends us into fits, and our “adult” costume isn’t fooling anybody any more.
I rage and complain because it’s not fair! My time is much too important to be dealing with all this stupid little stuff! I have a RIGHT to not be inconvenienced!
Really, self, do you?
Does the universe OWE you a day without someone stepping in fresh raspberries and leaving footprints on other people’s stuff?
Do you dare storm before the throne of God and scream that you are entitled to a dry toilet seat, and water bottle without floaties?
In this world we will have trouble. Though trouble is not good, falling down on our faces can be good if it helps us remember who we are. He is the vine, we are the branches. We do not control the weather, or the traffic, or anything else that matters, really. Yet, we remain in His hand, and nothing can take us from His care.
Help us to receive this day as a gift from Your loving hand. When it is pleasant, may we thank you for your grace. When we face frustration, may we look to you for patience. Sustain us in body and soul, for without you we can do nothing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.