“Mommy, I’ve got this. I can do it myself.” Famous last words, and that’s what I heard from my six-year old in the kitchen as I was working on laundry. And within about sixty seconds, in she ran, frantically chanting, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry!” Immediately I felt the momster inside rearing its ugly head as I followed her into the kitchen to find a table doused in yogurt, the container busted down the side. I turned to grab a towel- and landed my foot in a pile of cold, wet slop. I felt my head spin and my face grow red, and I spun around to face the guilty culprit.
And there she was, big blue eyes wet with tears, lip trembling, whispering, “Sorry” over and over again. My anger melted as I saw myself… independent, determined to do it my way all on my own, only to make a mess of things and end up on my knees, asking my Father to help me clean it all up. How often do I do this exact same thing? I’m stubborn and hard-headed and so sure of myself, so sure I don’t need help, so sure that my way is the best way.
Inevitably, when I do it on my own, I find myself in the same position as my daughter. A big messy pile of slop all over, and no idea of where to begin to clean it up. Realizing that I do indeed need help, I have to admit my wrongs… but instead of a momster, I find grace. I find mercy and love and forgiveness. He opens His arms and welcomes me in, and I know it’ll be okay… and that’s what my daughter is looking for in me.
It seems ironic that this moment came as I was restudying the fruit of the Spirit and patience this week, but that’s often how God works. When we ask for patience, He gives us situations in which to exhibit patience. In my case, I get these great “growth” opportunities. He shows me such amazing patience each and every day as I go through this life making mistakes and learning from them… the least I can do is show my own children an ounce of the grace that has been bestowed upon me.
Isaiah 30:18… For the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
2 Peter 3:9… The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.