Friday, December 23, 2011

The Widows, the Fatherless, and Blue Piggy Banks

For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot lately of the four and half months my husband was gone this year. God used that time to show me so many things, and in many ways I am still digesting those things. God promises many things in His Word, and one of those things is that He cares for the widows and the fatherless. I obviously had no understanding of what that meant until I didn’t have a husband at home, and I still have no complete understanding since my husband is still living. I look back on those four and half months though, and am amazed at the things God did for not only me, but my little girl as well. She was two and a half when he left, and celebrated her third birthday while he was gone. She went through things that no little one should have to go through. Her favorite movie while he was gone was “Finding Nemo” and she told me it was because
“Nemo’s daddy came back, just like my daddy.” Really? What kid thinks like that? All growing up, I was told that God cares for our needs, and not only our needs, but sometimes our wants. Even the little things. I didn’t really believe that, honestly, until a few months ago. Every year our church hosts a missions conference in October. To help remind the congregation to be thinking about the missions conference, 6 months before the conference the mission committee set up plastic piggy banks for the children to take home, so they could start collecting coins to give as an offering to the missionaries. The piggy banks came in assorted colors: green, yellow, pink, orange, and blue. When Anastasia and I reached the tables containing the piggy banks, every color was left except blue. But that was ok, because Anastasia didn’t even realize blue had been an option. She picked out another color, and as we walked through the church to find Grandma and Grandpa, she saw someone holding a blue piggy bank. She looked at me and said, “Oh, I want a blue one, Mama”. My first thought was, “Too bad, there weren’t any left”, but I said, “Okay, we can go look”, fully believing that she would be stuck with the color she had. We headed back to the table, and guess what? There was a blue piggy bank. It was as though God knew she wanted blue, and He purposely placed it there to show me that He takes care of the little ones’ wants. And yeah, it may sound like a stupid example, but I think back on it often. He took care of my little girl’s wants. It certainly wasn’t a need to have a blue piggy bank, but it was a desire of hers, and He gave it to her. Not only did He give her a desire of her heart, but He showed that little girl’s mama how faithless I can be. How often I go through life just flat out not believing that He can do something. And it’s usually the little things. And how rebuked I felt when I saw that blue piggy bank sitting there, waiting for Anastasia to take it home. And what a great reminder that God always keeps His promises.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Apples and Apple Cores

Since having children, I have been reminded of how often we, as adults, continue to act like children. I often wonder if God looks at us the same way we look at our kids as they are throwing temper tantrums, or telling us how things ought to be, etc. Our kids think they know what is best, when really, mommy and daddy know what is best. Today, my son, who is 16 months old, managed to find an apple core that was left somewhere by my daughter, and tried to eat as much as he could of what was left. I put him in his high chair, and proceeded to take the core away, telling him I would give him something better: an actual apple. As I took the core away, he screamed and cried in anger because he wanted that core so badly. He didn’t understand at the time that I was going to replace that core with something better. He only knew what he thought was best. I was reminded that I often respond the same exact way when God takes something from me that I think is good. I am content with the apple core, and in fact, I like it. And when God chooses to take it, sometimes I scream and cry in anger, just like my 16 month old. But just as I replaced that apple core with something good, God also chooses to replace our apple cores with something good. Though our apples may not always seem good at the time, in reality, it is our Heavenly Father who knows what is best for our lives. And what a comfort to know that He takes care of us, even better than we take care of our own children, and even when we may throw temper tantrums like little ones.