I sat in the car staring into the mirror as my 4 year old threw a fit over putting her seatbelt on herself. She had done it several times before but being tired made this seem like an impossible task for her on this day.
The administrator, A-type personality in me wanted to tell her to suck it up, put her seatbelt on and cut the crap. (Hey, I’m nothing if not honest!) But the trying-to-be-patient-and-gracious Mommy in me calmly explained that if she took a breath, relaxed and focused she would, in fact, be able to do it. I went on to explain that I would not get out of the car to do it for her because this was something she knew how to do herself. She didn’t need me to do it, she just knew my doing it would be easier. After a few light years of carrying on this way (what probably actually turned out to be about 8 or so minutes), she put the seatbelt on and we drove off.
I told her how proud I was that she did it on her own and sent up a little prayer about how grateful I was that we didn’t have to sleep in the Giant parking lot that night!
In the midst of my relief, God spoke to my heart. I half expected Him to tell me I had a great parenting moment or He was proud that I didn’t join her and just start crying from frustration! Alas, He said neither of those things but instead I “heard” a question creep into my heart: “have you ever behaved that way?”
All of my defenses went up and I thought, UHM I may be slightly dramatic but COME ON. A full on tantrum when I can clearly handle the situation? Not calming down enough to get someone else’s perspective but choosing to focus on what seems impossible instead? OOOOOOOH. CRAP. Yep, I’ve done that and more.
You see, in our Christian walk there are times when we face what seem to be insurmountable road blocks that keep us from moving out of the parking space we find ourselves sitting in. These roadblocks are sometimes sickness, job loss, financial issues, relationship issues, broken friendships, difficult children or whatever else has us stuck. There are times when all we can see is the issue before us and we begin to lose our focus. It can quickly turn from the God who can help us walk through any storm to the storm itself. (I think Peter learned this very lesson in Matthew 14:22-34).
The amazing thing about our God is that, unlike a very frazzled mother sitting in a parked car, He never loses patience with us. Rather, He lovingly, calmly guides us back to Himself at every turn. I bet, that if we can stop our tantrum long enough to hear Him, we will see that even when it doesn’t seem like we will ever be able to get that seatbelt on, He is lovingly showing us the way. Because that is who He is. A loving Daddy who wants to us doing well… and doing “well” to me means that we are in His will moving closer to Him and getting to know Him more. No matter what we are facing, if we can face it in His presence the drive to “there” becomes more about seeing the beauty than even arriving at the destination!
I pray that today, you take some time to listen to the Father’s heart for the situation you are in. And may the drive be full of the beauty of Christ!