When life is going smooth and things are falling into place (for the most part) it is so easy to forget about the completed work of Christ. It is so easy to forget about who he is and what he has done. However even when life is going smooth there are times we get a smack in the face type of reminder that we do not have it all together.
Sometimes it does not take much to let us see that we do NOT have it all together. Things as simple as losing our keys or having a kid that does not want to listen in the grocery store.
My daughter gave me a picture of how ridiculous it looks when I try to do things on my own without God and without the light he shines in my life.
Delia is our only girl of 4 kids and she loves everything crafty. A few days before Valentines day our adorable library had a few hours and all kind of art supplies set aside for people to come and make Valentines. We took full advantage of the opportunity…She made 12 and I cut her off.
A few days before that she had already put together all of the Shopkin Valentines I had picked up for her at our local Dollar General. She had also taken the time to convert an Amazon box into a Valentine box that looked like a disco ball because of the impressive amount of glitter it held.
Valentines day comes and she has a stack of stuff to bring to school. Her backpack is already filled with who knows what so none of the Valentine treasures will fit. Our little lady is usually pretty good at organizing her stuff and getting it where it needs to go. I was getting the 3 year old ready and I glanced out the window. Out of the corner of my eye I could see her carrying 12 homemade valentines, 13 store bought valentines, and a glitter covered box out to the pick up. It’s February in MN so the weather is less than grand. I can see this is not going to be a good situation because the wind is flicking each end of the valentines and as soon as her little hand moves he is going to lose it all. Her hand moved to open the truck door and all 25 of the valentines flew around her and the glitter laden disco ball landed in the snow. I ran out the door to help her collect the Valentine treasures.
By the time I had gotten out to her the tears had already started and she had convinced herself all of the Valentines and the whole day was ruined. I helped her collect them from the snow-covered ground. I had her get into the pick up and said I was going inside to get her one of the 8 million Aldi bags we have (so that is an exaggeration but we have so many because I always forget to bring them).
I got back into the pick up I handed her the Aldi bag. I was abruptly confronted with a tear filled ‘I AM NOT USING A BAG!’ Not an I don’t want to use an Aldi bag. She was clear she did not want to use a bag at all. I did not understand the opposition. We drove the two blocks to school, got the boys out, while Delia sat in the backseat with a glitter bomb of a Valentine box, tiny pieces of paper stacked on top and a face filled with tears.
Over and over again she told me ‘I’m not using a bag’
She is ugly crying at this point and I could tell it is going to take a bit before she could compose herself. We did a couple loops around the school because I could not send her into the building like this.
After a lot of questions and not a lot of rational answers she tells me ‘MOM I can’t us a bag because people will know that I’m weak and not able to carry it all.’
In that moment I thought ‘Are you kidding me…’ Everybody uses bags. No one could carry all you are expecting your self to carry. It is impossible to balance 25 Valentines on the top of a glitter bomb in the middle of a near blizzards in western MN.
Once she as settling down and I was on my way home I thought about her phrase. “I can’t use a bag mom people will think I’m weak and I’m not able to carry it all.”
I could not understand why she thought she would even be capable of this. Until I thought about my own life. I want to balance it all. I want to carry it all. When I want to do that I end up in the same state as my daughter. Chasing valentines all over the country in the blizzard of life. I end up convinced that everything is ruined because I can’t do it and I am ugly crying.
My reasoning for wanting to do it all and balance it all on my own without any help is even the same. I don’t want people to think I am weak. I want everyone, myself included, to believe that I can balance it all.
I am breaking the 1st commandment over an over again. I want to be my own god. I don’t want God to get the credit. I want to be like Eve when she believed the lies of the serpent. I want to be my own god.
Thankfully our God is the same God of Eve’s. When I want to go out on my own he knows I will fail and he pursues me. He questions where I have gone. The promise he made to Adam and Eve is the same one he made for us. He clothes our naked, exposed bodies. He made the first sacrifice and he made the ultimate sacrifice of his own life.
What are you carrying right now that you just can’t seem to balance?
I don’t have to be able to balance and carry it all. I get to use the gifts God has given me. When life is like a blizzard we can step out in it with confidence because we know that if we the valentines blow all over the country side God is still going to love us. We live in this tension of we can’t do it all yet God is using us to serve the people around us. All that he has done gives us the freedom to stack those valentines up and walk into the blizzard of our lives.