I wrote this post last April, but today, I am thankful for the reminder of my Father’s tender hand directing my life. Although He is the Alpha and Omega, He chooses to lovingly interpose Himself in the minutiae of my every day. To quote Elyse Fitzpatrick,
“We’re more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe; we’re more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope.”
“This is terrible!” My three year old exclaimed when her ink stamp malfunctioned.
I cringed. I had hastily, loudly, repeatedly uttered these very words earlier that morning.
The exclamation was an over-reaction, but even more than that, it exposed my lack of trust in our loving Father and a disbelief in His goodness.
The previous Sunday, God unexpectedly met a huge need. Our assistant pastor handed us an anonymously gifted envelope containing a sizable donation. In fact, it was nearly exactly what we needed to pay for our taxes which had been completed and waiting for payment at the CPA.
The next day, I eagerly volunteered to make the drive with the kids to go pay for and pick up the completed tax forms. Of course, with four kids under age three, the errand was no minor undertaking. After feeding four mouths, dressing four bodies, wrestling coats, socks and shoes on sixteen resistant limbs, hauling 111 wriggling pounds worth of children into four massive car seats, we were finally off. All in all, things seemed to be progressing pretty smoothly. The GPS didn’t even get the chance to chirp “re-calculating.”
I pulled into a business development and located the office building. Unfortunately, all the parking spaces in front of the firm were full, but I found a spot that I thought qualified as manageable toddler walking distance. I hopped out of the van and opened up the trunk to pull out the . . .
“Oh no. oh no! This is terrible. What am I going to do? This is terrible!”
The wagon had vanished. Where could it be? It was definitely here yesterday. Did somebody take it? No, no (remembrance was slowly dawning), we had pulled it out of the trunk to go on a walk: it had been such a warm and lovely evening.
“Oh no. What are we going to do?” I voiced again.
By now the toddlers were curious. “What’s wrong, mama?” The office building suddenly felt miles away. I started rooting through the piles in the van and uncovered the bjorn carrier. I looked at it despairingly. This was it. This was all I had to get all 5 of us safely there and back.
“Ok, we will make this work,” I started repeating the phrase like a mantra.
“Ok guys, we will make this work.” I strapped the chunkier twin to my chest, took a deep breath and began issuing directives.
“Emma and Ben, you will hold hands. You will stay close to mama. You will listen and obey, and we will make this work.”
I unhooked the remaining three children from their car seats and hoisted the second baby to my hip. I grabbed Ben’s hand on his descent from the van and directed Emma to grip his remaining free hand. And we marched: a layered, interconnected chain of five people. Amazingly, we made it across the massive parking lot without incident. We began to ascend the flight of stairs to the entrance. We made it inside—the craziness was actually working. I glanced around at the suite numbers and glimpsed our destination at the bottom of a small flight of stairs. We descended and successfully entered the door. In less than ten minutes, the whole ordeal was over. We’d braved the parking lot, managed two flights of stairs, retrieved the paperwork, safely returned to the van and refastened everyone’s car seat straps.
Settling into the driver seat, I heaved a huge sigh of relief as it suddenly hit me: we never could have managed that trip with the wagon. I would have had to abandon the wagon to ascend and descend the stairs. I wouldn’t have had the bjorn handy, and I would have had to carry both babies leaving no hands for my toddlers. God had provided again– He had engineered my forgetfulness for my best. He not only provided the funds for the paperwork but also ensured a way to successfully retrieve it. Forgetting the wagon wasn’t terrible. In fact, it was nothing less than God’s provision. I felt incredibly humbled yet comforted by His absolute care for every mundane detail of my life.
The reality is that my Father is good, and I can trust Him. My self-declaration of this “terrible” situation was untrue. God was at work in the minutiae, and I can trust Him by choosing to believe God’s declarations instead of my own. He declares that Christ made himself nothing and bore the wrath reserved for me (Philippians 2:3-11). He declares that I am raised and seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6-7). He declares that in Christ, I have every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). He declares that nothing is able to separate me from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35). He declares that I am now His daughter and fellow heir with Christ, and He sent His Spirit into my heart so that I may cry to Him, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15-17). These declarations reorient my heart to the truth that come what may I can trust My God of everlasting love, for “If God be for us, who can be against us? He that did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8: 31-32