The point isn't to hate on Blogger, though. I really like Blogger, because, duh, it allows me to blog for freeeeeee. The point is to tell you all a really, really cool God story from when I was babysitting some children last week.
Once upon a time, it was Monday. I was driving home from work, which right now means that I was leaving the neighborhood where I babysit two little boys, ages seven and nine. I was driving home, and I was completely overwhelmed. My job was to keep the boys from disturbing their mom while she worked in her home office, and as far as I could tell, I had failed miserably. As soon as they woke up, the boys fought over everything from whether to watch Total Drama Island or Teen Titans to who had stole / spit on / broken / lost the other's Nerf gun. Where I drew a line, they crossed it; when I asked them to clean up their spilled orange juice, they argued; when I took them to the park, they screamed all the way there. They had broken into their mom's office at least half a dozen times and she'd even come out once to tell them to stop fighting.
I wasn't mad at God, but I was frustrated with my circumstances and kind of put out with Satan for just being so darn bad. I rolled down the windows, turned up the music, and tried not to cry. (True story.)
|This picture was taken through a windshield, so I thought it fit the car reference. And, yes, that is a footprint on the glass. Enjoy.|
Play that scenario on repeat for a couple days. Each morning, I prayed out loud to God in the car as I sat in traffic on the freeway, waiting for the exit that I was sure would lead to my ultimate doom. Okay, it wasn't that bad. I can be a little over dramatic first thing in the morning. "God, just help me to get through the day and help me to maybe learn something." I'd show up at the house, greet the boys, and try my best to stay afloat, leaving six hours later with my head just above water level. I got through each day; I learned some lessons. God was answering my prayers with a resounding "yes", but He wasn't nearly finished with me yet.
By Thursday morning, I was kind of worn out and discouraged, and I definitely wasn't hoping for things to get better. On my way out the door, my mom stopped me and said, "Allie, I think today's going to be awesome. " I really wasn't feeling that kind of attitude just then, so I tossed some form of "Okay, Mom," over my shoulder and drove away.
Despite my attitude, my prayer changed that morning. As I curved around the freeway on-ramp, I told God He could make the day awesome if he wanted to. "Mom thinks today's going to be awesome, so if you could do that, that would be great. So, yeah." I continued praying: for my cousin who was going to beauty school and my aunt who didn't love God anymore and my friend who had lost her confidence - in twenty minutes I was at the house and had all but forgotten that I had kind of asked God to make my day awesome. That's when the miracles started.
Miracle numero uno was that both boys were still asleep when I walked through the door. That never happened. Their mom had always kindly made sure that they were awake, dressed, and breakfasted (is that a word?) That day, though, she let them sleep. For an hour. An hour is an eternity in babysitting Mike and Daniel time, and I savored every second. I think I blogged. It was fantastic.
When they woke up, they were kind of still subdued. Maybe someone slipped something into their juice boxes? I didn't really care. I made them pancakes. They ate them, quietly. Wow.
I don't remember too many specifics about that Thursday, except for my growing gratitude as the day unfolded in a way that was, indeed, awesome. Mike and Daniel got along, ate fruit with their lunch when I insisted that they couldn't live off of only BLTs, and spent most of their time outside where their mom couldn't hear them screaming. And I was on cloud nine.
Around lunch time, between frying bacon for the BLTs and mixing myself a protein shake, I heard God loud and clear. He was saying,
"Dude! (Does God say "Dude"? Probably.) Do you see this? This could have been your whole week if you would have asked! I don't fit in that tiny space in your head. I do things that you don't think are possible. Don't you know that?"
Oh. Well, yeah. I guess that would make sense. That whole creator-of-the-universe, coordinator-of-every-event-ever, knower-of-every-thought stuff would seem to point to a God who could make a couple pre-adolescent boys behave if he is so inclined. I didn't even give God that much credit. I told him, "You probably can't make this situation great; can I at least survive?" I had forgotten that my God could calm a raging sea, win impossible battles, and move something as unshakeable as a mountain.
As I'm writing this, I'm glad that I had those couple really sucky days first, and I'm pretty sure God wanted it that way, too. How is he supposed to show his power if I haven't experienced the alternative?
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
God loves to use impossible circumstances to show us something about himself; the greater the difference between the situation when he's involved and the situation when he's not, the greater the miracle.
We have a God that can walk on water, tame lions, and create life with a breath. We also have a God who knows how many hairs are on our heads and every top-secret plan of the military. He'll allow stuff to happen - stuff that we don't like. But you can bet that in the midst of all that stuff, he's waiting, eyes hopeful and pulse quickening, for us to ask for him to show us how great he can really be.
ISN'T HE THE COOLEST?
What's God been up to in your life lately?