Sovereignty is a tricky thing. We only tend to think about it when things are going poorly. When life is peddling along great we take all the credit for the happy moments. God must be blessing us. But when the road of life takes a sharp turn we suddenly become aware of the bigger picture. Of course our default reaction is not to praise God in the storm. But as the fog lifts we see that his plan was perfect all along and had we only trusted him in the chaos we would have experienced his peace rather than our own fear.
I see things differently in 2012.
This week Bundle Brother got a cold. Then Babydoll. It wouldn't have been a topic to open my eyes to God's sovereignty except that brother's 4th birthday party bash was approaching on Saturday. We didn't mention their sickness to our friends and were hopeful that with lots of rest and fluids it would pass before the weekend. Sister was two days behind his cold so she was in worse shape than her recovering sibling. Saturday morning came. Early. Brother came running in our room at 4am saying through tears about his ear hurting and he needed "earwax" (which is what he calls q-tips). I gave him some water and Motrin and sent him back to bed. Three hours later he awoke for the day with healthy eyes. My Love gave him a hair cut for party day and Brother got dressed in his solider shirt paired over his brown long sleeved thermal and khaki cargo pants. Things were being disenfected around here. We sat the kids down at the table with our four visiting house guests and opened up a box of Peanut Butter Cheerios that we had picked up to try for the first time. Bowls were filled and bananas were passed out. Babydoll started having a coughing attack (like she is right now standing next to me). Brother burst into tears and complained about his ear hurting. Our boy has never had an ear infection in his four years of life. I looked at My Love and asked him if he thought we should cancel the party. We agreed that in that moment it was the best decision we could make. Luckily the party was scheduled for 4pm so I was able to let people know early enough so they could still enjoy their day.
Brother was up in bed again by this time. I went upstairs and broke the news which we had been prepping him for in the days leading up to this moment. He took the news very well. He didn't even seem disappointed. I came back downstairs and started sending texts and sending emails. My friend was sitting at the table for breakfast with her two kids and another mutual friend of ours. She felt terrible about the colds that her two had when they arrived at our home over a week before. She thought she was responsible for the cancelled party.
How could I possibly be upset about it? God is always good! Always! Brother wasn't even disappointed. It would have been easy to focus on all the time I had spent running errands this past week preparing for the party. The money spent. The cupcakes baked. The decorations we had put up while up late the night before with three of our good friends. But wouldn't that have made the day about me? God knows what he is doing. He was sovereign over the week before while they were getting sick and he remains sovereign today. I completely admit it would have been more difficult to be so positive had Brother been broken-hearted but he wasn't. The older I get the more I see disappoints as opportunities for teachable moments for my kids (and myself). We can have all the plans in the world but God is in control and he knows better for us than we can prepare for ourselves.
With clearer eyes I started to look at the new opportunities God made from this canceled party. Two families in particular were making the time to drive down even with other plans before/during. Now they could fully commit to the other. Two other families took the time to show their love to me in ways I needed. One text a pic of the card her daughter had made for Bundle Boy. Another offered for her daughter to call Brother later in the day to cheer him up. I was touched. The other three families live on our new street and were now freed up to enjoy the rare beautiful and sunny day we had. I thought about each conversation the parents would be having with their child/ren. Some of them may have been crushed. More teachable moments. I thought about the opportunities they were given to spend as a family doing something else. Then I thought about the people God literally put in my living room that morning. A close friend who lives states away. Her husband sat on our couch the night before as we blew up grenade [water] balloons (the party was solider-themed) before driving back into the City for work Saturday morning. We have been praying for his salvation as his address for the past several months has been in the Afghanistan desert. He returns for several more months in another week. I thought about the single friend who spent Friday night sleeping on our couch and was spooning his own PB Cheerios into his mouth as this decision was being made. We have been praying for his wife for over a year. He is not married but longs to be. I hopped on FB as the dust was settling around here that morning and read our friend's status update while he sat on our couch.
"If you are going to really reach your goals in life, sometimes you have to delay gratification. You have to do the tough thing instead of the fun thing, the right thing instead of the pleasurable thing.
Any goal that's worth achieving is going to have obstacles in the way. You need to have a long-term view so, when difficulties come, you can persevere knowing that you are going to get past it.
God's timing is perfect and ours is not. When you find yourself in God's waiting room, just be patient and persistent. A God-given vision will always be fulfilled." ~R.W.
Seriously people if that was the only reason for sick kids and a canceled party, PRAISE GOD! A few nights before our friend sat on our couch sharing his vision for the new year. His goals for making changes in his life. And without out-right saying it, asked us to pray for a new relationship with real potential.
God is always good.
Are you thankful for his sovereignty today?
Brother woke up early again today crying for earwax. My Love and I had just sat down for our first cup of coffee and Bibles in hand. Upon inspection My Love discovered dried blood in our son's right ear. "I can't hear out of this side but I can hear out of this side," he said to me. My Love got on the phone and scheduled an appointment at a nearby urgent care office on this Sunday morning. My Love had offered to watch all four kids this morning (since two were still sick) so my friend and I could go to church together. With the boys off to the doctor that plan again changed. But God is always good. And in light of yesterday my first thought was surprisingly to be thankful it was the weekend because My Love was home to take him to the doctor for me. He just called from the doctore. Brother has a sinus infection, ear infection, and ruptured ear drum. He is never sick.
The Enemy keeps trying to shake our gratitude but we stand firm. We choose to trust our Sovereign Lord even in the disappointing because we know the very near future will include LOTS of disappointing moments. What will we do then?
More to come...