As I was driving to work today – I considered the Lord, and how He has provided.
When I felt so far away from him, He provided.
When I acted a fool, He provided.
When I thought I was doing wrong but didn’t know what else to do – He provided.
The other day I took my son to purchase some shoes.
There we were in Khols – I had a fever – but he needed new shoes for a while, one had a huge hole in it.
To make matters worse, he had destroyed them that very day while playing in the mud at a birthday party, (along with the clothing he was wearing 🙂 )
We find shoes on sale.
He discovers a pair he liked a lot; red and black and they were cool! (Can you hear my sigh of relief?)
He put them on, perfect fit!
Happy feverish mother wants to leave when – Uh-Oh… Look at these. They are a total size bigger, but they are BLUE.
(Blue is his favorite color.)
He wanted them.
I find a scrap of patience in my virus-ridden body and say, “Try them on.”.
They look too big to me but he insists they fit him more perfectly than the others.
“No. You cannot have them.”, I say.
“We are buying the red ones because they fit you better than these do.”
I decide that since the bigger ones are on sale I will buy both pair and save myself $30.00 in the future, but I do not tell him this. He is too busy pitching a fit to beat all billy blazes and quite frankly, I am sick, tired, and cranky.
My nose is running and I do not have a tissue.
I go sit down on the “try-your-shoes-on” bench after telling the boys, “Judah, go price check the blue ones and Josiah, put on the red ones. We are leaving.”
Josiah had to put the shoes on right there because Judah carried him into the store in socky feet.
When I said his shoes were ruined, I was not kidding. I’ve never seen anything so muddy.
So there I am with a petulant fitful child who is railing at me and saying unkind things about what type of meanie-mom I am. He is not wanting the red shoes anymore, the blue ones have become more important than Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, and the 16-year-old teen is sticking up for him (an entirely separate issue for which he ended up being grounded from his phone) because he “feels his pain”, and quite frankly mommies and daddies, I have had it.
I. want. to. go. home.
I also want to cry.
It takes a lot of effort (when you are healthy) to mentally and emotionally wrestle two strong-willed sons, let alone while one has a fever and a runny nose.
Picture us there.
The youngest is standing in the aisle in socks – in the middle of Kohls – at night – in front of strangers – Oh, Yes, there were strangers staring at the entire fiasco. He is not being very nice to mom. The teenager is backing his brother. The mom looks haggard and worn out and the whole scene must have seemed rather pitiful to the random citizens who were unfortunate enough to be witnesses.
After I sat down I told Josiah to stand in front of me and this is what I said, pretty much word-for-word, as far as I can remember.
“You are behaving very badly. I mean, VERY BADLY. And quite frankly, I don’t want to buy you anything at all, but a good parent provides for their children. You may not get anything extra – like treats or presents or extra shoes, like the boots you want, but your needs will always be met, so I am going to buy your shoes, both the red ones for now and the blue ones for later this summer.
I want you to understand that God provides for us in this way as well. He is always there to meet your needs. But if you sin, you may be forfeiting the extra blessings that God really wants to send your way.”
He was angry.
He was crying.
But he listened.
There is more to the story – there always is when we are dealing with life-lessons.
But hear the message today.
God is your Heavenly Father.
He sends rain to the just and the unjust – that means harvest and food and provision.
Am I condoning petulance and crabby attitudes with our Lord?
I recommend serving him in spirit and in truth – walking with Him like Enoch and loving him like John.
What does the scripture say in Micah?
“He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
He provides when you are naughty and he provides when you are good.
Do you know why?
Because God’s goodness is not based on yours.
These are the things I was thinking about on the way to work this morning.
These are the things I am grateful for.
Thank you, God – for every good and perfect gift you send my way.
I want you to know I noticed how good you are.
2 Replies to “Even When We’re Naughty…”
Leah, this is a great message. There is so much wisdom here and I am pleased that you were able to see the life lesson here and be able to impart it in such an eloquent way. Thank you!
Your words are generous.