“LET ME GO!” Logan jerked his thin 5-year-old arm away from his brother. “Logan, I’m trying to help you. If you step backwards, you’re going to fall down the…”
“Waaaa!” Logan’s wail could be heard from inside the house.
I rushed out the front door and onto the porch. “What happened?” I yelled at Rice as I scooped Logan up from the ground into my arms. Logan was holding his forehead and screaming. Rice’s eyes were bulging, and it looked as if he had pushed Logan down the stairs and onto the ground. “What happened to your brother, Rice?” I became more agitated as Logan’s shrill scream pierced the eardrums of everyone within a mile radius.
Rice stuttered over his words until he finally gathered his thoughts. “Mama, he was playing on the stairs, and I took him by the arms and tried to tell him he was going to fall.” Tears welled in Rice’s big brown eyes. “He just wouldn’t listen to me, and he just kept dancing until he fell down and got hurt.”
As I squatted on the ground holding Logan in my arms, Rice slunk down the stairs and started crying too. He slid his arms around Logan, and he whispered, “I’m sorry you got hurt, brother.”
Logan quickly jerked away from him, and yelled in his face, “Look what you did, Bubbie!” Rice, heart-broken, wept.
I turned to the side and pulled Rice into my arms. “No, sweetheart, you were a sweet big brother. It’s not your fault that Logan didn’t let you help him. He’s just upset and wants to blame someone else. Sometimes we all have to learn the hard way, and today, Logan’s hard way was a goose-egg on the noggin from a tree root sticking out of the ground.”
I rubbed the tears from amongst Rice’s long eyelashes and kissed him on the cheek. “I’m proud of you, Bubbie.”
A smile slid across his face. “Will my brother be okay?”
“Oh, yes, sweetie. As soon as his pride heals.”
“I thought that was called his forehead.” His face scrunched.
I giggled. “Yes, that’s his forehead, but that doesn’t hurt half as much as being wrong.”
Wow! That was a reality check. How many times do we do that to God? There’s that gentle nudging in our hearts to know many times we should not be doing something. Call it conscience. Call it awareness. Call it whatever you want, but I recognize that it is God warning us. The weird part is that if it’s not what we want to do, we just shove it aside and do whatever we want anyway. I know because I’m as guilty as the next guy, and when it all goes south, who is the first person we whine to, complain about, or blame? GOD!
“Well, if you’re almighty, then why didn’t you stop it from happening? Or how about this one: “Well, if you didn’t want me to do it, then why did you make it?” Sound familiar? It should! I’m sure you’ve uttered some similar statement to God, just like I and everyone dating back to Adam and Eve has.
Let’s see, when Adam sinned, what did he say? Something similar to this in Genesis 3:12: “Well, God, I sinned because the woman that YOU gave me offered me the fruit, and that’s why I ate it, so it’s really your fault. Now, look at what you did!” Oh my, the more I go into this, the more my stomach churns in the realization that we’re pretty despicable creatures…always blaming others, and even worse…blaming God himself.
Once, I had a friend that went to a party her wreckless cousin invited her to. She confessed that she felt a bit out of place, but instead of leaving, she grabbed a bottle and began to drink. As she drank, she began to loosen up and feel more like she fit in, and as the night progressed, she found a young man that was attracted to her. There was still this nudging, she confessed later, that she needed to leave, but she really liked this man. He was handsome and seemed to really like her.
A month later, she came to visit me and told me about the whole incident and then added that she was worried because she had not spoken with him since that night.
“Why are you telling me all of this?” I questioned.
“Because I need to contact him, and I don’t even know who or where he is.” She said with tears in her eyes.
“Honey, let him go. If he hasn’t contacted you in a month, he’s probably not interested.”
She sobbed. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
“So, what’s the big deal. Move on, girl! You’re too good for him.”
“But, I’m pregnant!”
BAM!!! There it was. The whole reason for her visit. “I’ve tried to find out who he was, but…” Her face dropped into her hands. “I just don’t understand why God is doing this to me. What am I going to do?”
My brain steamed! Seriously! Is she blaming God for this? Didn’t you confess that you felt uncomfortable there? Then why did you think THE COMFORTER was okay with this? Didn’t you admit that you began to drink to help you overcome that STILL SMALL VOICE? A bit of anger rose up within my breast to defend my God. Why did you do your own will, and then yell at God, “Look at what you did!”
Suddenly, that still small voice whispered to me. “Misty, love her back to me. Be my arms of compassion, for I once sent my arms to comfort you too in the midst of your mistakes.”
Then, I remembered this story as if it had just happened the moment before. I remembered God dealing with me about my health and the junk that I had put into it. I pushed his nudging aside, and I continued to eat whatever comfort foods comforted me, and then I remembered, after six months of a health battle, begging God for help. He reminded me that he sent a friend to me to help me change.
So, I wrapped my arms around my friend. “Well, we can’t change the past.” I whispered, “But we can change the now and that will alter our future.” She pulled back and looked at me through her tear-filled eyes.
“God wants you to come home, and when you do, He will give you the strength to go down this new path you’ve created.”
So, God does not send us a quick fix. God does not send us a “Hey, I’ll help you escape the consequences of your actions.” But He does give us a guarantee of this: when we stop blaming others for our own actions…when we admit that we are “reaping what we’ve sown,”…when we stop playing victim, and run home to our Daddy God for strength…when we lay aside our own will to put on the full armor of God and prepare to face the consequences of our actions head-on, we will find the almighty support system in the arms of the ONE that breaks every chain. We WILL learn to praise Him even in the midst of the ramifications of our failures, and maybe, just maybe, if we draw close enough to Jesus, we’ll learn next time to respond more like Him, “Father, this is what I want, but still I want your will more than mine.”
And when we surrender to Him, then we can honestly say, with a smile on our face, “Look at what YOU did!”
Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
(So, to answer any lingering questions about what happened to my boys:
Once, Logan got over his pride issue, he chased Rice down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sorry, I didn’t stop dancing when you told me to, Bubbie, but wasn’t my dance so awesome?” So, the brothers are buddies once again. HALLELUJAH!)