Merry Christmas! Oh, wait! I mean…Happy New Year!! No? Ah, yes. I am a little bit behind! It is mid-January and I’m just now getting back into a “semi-normal” routine from traveling and Christmas festivities. But today feels more like Christmas than Christmas actually did. A fast falling, beautiful snow is flying onto the ground as I type. While the wind whistles around – fast paced and frosty, I am having a pajama day. I’ve cuddled on the couch with my hot coffee and my Jesus Calling devotional, got to squeeze in some adult conversation with my mom on the phone while trying to drown out my girls fighting, err…I mean their sweet voices playing so well together. Ha. Well, some of the morning was nice anyway.
After incessantly chattering on and on about the snow since their lovely 6am wake-up call my excited girls got dressed, bundled up with coats, mittens, scarves, hats, extra warm socks, and snow boots and decided to go play in the snow. Of course, the time they were out there was less time than it took to put on said coats, mittens, scarves, hats, etc. They literally were only outside for 5 minutes…maybe. They came running in crying about ears being too cold and snow flying in their eyes. I chuckled and told them, I told you it was too cold to play but they needed to experience it for themselves to learn this little lesson of listening to their mother, of realizing that sometimes others know more than they do. I knew the wind chill and I also knew they have not been known in the past to put up with 10 degree wind chills and freezing snow flying in their faces. But instead of explaining all of that to them before bundling them up, I just said it wasn’t going to be much fun because the snow was not deep yet so there wouldn’t be much to play in. And instead of giving them wind chill temperatures and info that they would not quite grasp, I just said that it was too cold. But did they listen? Nope. And I didn’t expect them to. They had beautiful expectations of playing for hours without feeling even a chill, building snow men and snow angels together and having awesome snow ball fights. No matter how much I explained that this just wasn’t that kind of snow day, they didn’t believe me. They had to experience the cold for themselves. They needed to experience the crazy wind. I knew they wouldn’t “get it” until they felt the snowflakes whipping into their eyes. I didn’t want these things to happen to them. I wanted them to simply trust me and trust that I knew what was best. But they needed to see it for themselves.
Finally, when they realized that Mommy wasn’t lying to them, they ran back to our warm cozy space and they let me peel off their wet, freezing clothes, take off their hats and wring out their wet socks. Then I covered them with warmth, wrapped them up in my love and then gave them something warm to eat. In the end, they had to admit that it was really too cold to play in the snow, just as I had told them.
This quick, trivial little event in our day reminded me of how we must seem to our Father when we want our own way. We don’t hear his caution, we ignore His still small voice telling us to follow His way. His plan is so much greater than we can even fathom that sometimes, He can’t explain it to us. We just wouldn’t understand or we wouldn’t be able to grasp the bigger picture as He does. He can only say, “Not right now” or “This isn’t the path I chose for you” or simply just, “Wait. Wait on me.” But the waiting can be so hard. We think we know what’s best. We get frustrated and we try to push our will. We whine, we cry, and finally He may let us have our own way. He does this so that we can experience for ourselves the pain, experience the problems that may come with it and feel the frustrations that might be present with OUR own way versus HIS way. It’s not the way He would have had it. He didn’t want us to go through those things but maybe it just had to happen so that our eyes would be opened to what HE wanted for us. And after we realize our mistake, we will come back inside from the cold, fall on our knees and admit that He is God, not us. We will let him peel off our worries, take away our fears and wring out our doubts. He will continue to cover us with His warmth, His presence, His peace and His love. He will gently let us know that He has it under control. He knows what He is doing. How much he probably yearns for us to get to a place where every time He gives us an answer, whether it be what we were hoping for or not, we will always say, “Your will, Lord. Not mine.” How many times will it take before I realize that He knows more than I do and He has a plan that is so much greater than mine could ever hope to be?
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil…
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this.” Proverbs 3:5 (The Message)
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)
“And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.” James 4:13-14 (The Message)