well, the other night my darling six-year-old jacob (who would want me to tell you that he is almost six and a half, for the record) was sitting with his daddy on the couch watching tv...a weather update came on and the weatherman said "ok all you kids out there, prepare for some fun in the snow tomorrow, our area should see about 3-5 inches tomorrow afternoon."
jacob's mouth dropped and his eyes widened like it was Christmas morning. he grinned really big and looked at his daddy - "did you hear that!?! we get to play in the snow tomorrow!" ooohh he was SO excited. ya see, jacob has been waiting for snow for months. literally, months. it has been a topic of conversation at least a couple times a week since the first brisk wind we got back in october.
"mama, i wonder when it's going to snow?"
"i know buddy, i wonder too!"
"do you think it will be this weekend?" (this is october, mind you...in texas)
(thinking to myself - hmm..it was 62 today, and it should be 82 tomorrow...) "probably not bud, but who knows?"
"well, God knows, mama."
"that's right buddy, He sure does."
poor kid hasn't fully grasped that he lives in north texas. a place that truly doesn't have four seasons, or a real winter, for that matter. if i started to claim that we did have a "true" winter, i think that people from about 42 of the 47 states located north of us would laugh at me - continuously. i was just talking about this yesterday actually, with some family members of a friend of mine, who were here visiting from kansas. now, i will be honest and tell you that i could absolutely, positively NOT point kansas out on a map. my geography is atrocious. i mean it. most 1st graders could kick my hiney in geography, no problem. but, being that i am from texas, i can wager, with a good amount of certainty, that it is north of us. (right?) (ok, i'm confessing here that i just googled it and found out that it is in fact, north of us...two states directly north, actually. it took me a minute to find it because i was looking over to the....(Never Eat Soggy Waffles)...um, west of us.) anyway...i digress.....i was talking to these nice people about "winter" as we know it in the fine Lone Star state and how mild it has been this year. but, that last year was pretty fierce. "fierce?" they said. and then these sweet, kindhearted, Jesus-loving, out-of-towners all laughed at me. they really did. they sat there and just laughed at me. in my defense (and in the defense of all my fellow countrymen) i tried to talk about how we got about 10 inches of snow in one day. i told them about how that freaked everyone in this area out and 'bout shut down the town for days. (insert more kansas-ians laughing at me) but i must say, now that i have actually seen the U.S. map...they really don't have that much to laugh at. i mean, c'mon, they border oklahoma too! it's not like i was talking to people from....(checking the map again to ensure accuracy for my punchline)...montana or something. now, those people could laugh at me. oh, and by the way, i plan on calling these people mid-july and asking if it is "hot" there. oh, ya think so?? ha. ya right people. you don't know hot! (i would say with love and in Jesus Name :)
anyway, back to my boy...in jacob's short six and (almost) half years (he would want me to clarify that he is not quite six and a half. he is all about accuracy...again, just like his daddy) he has seen more snow that i saw for the first 20 years of my life growing up in this fine state. i mean it. it really has snowed every year at least once, for the past few years. whereas, i think when i was growing up it only snowed like three times from age 3 to age 18. (these kids nowadays, get everything they want...technology, cell phones, snowy winters...so greedy these kids......just pretending to rant there, i kind felt it fit.:)
so, in my sweet methodical son's mind, because the weatherman said what he said, it is supposed to snow soon. he has planned for it. and so, since the weatherman said it out loud, jacob took it as gospel truth. ya see, (like his daddy) jacob is a die-hard rule-follower. do you know anyone like that? are you like that? i wish i could say i was. but it wouldn't be true, which, of course, would break a rule. (see, i'm getting there. :) he is honest, he is trustworthy, he says what he means and he means what he says. and of course, he expects everyone else to do the same. some of jacob's most disappointing moments in life have resulted in the fact that someone couldn't or wouldn't follow through with something they said they would do. and, as it turns out... this was one of those times.
poor jacob woke up early the next morning, and before he even rubbed his sweet eyes and fully waked up, he stumbled directly to the coat closet...
(eyes still half closed) "mama, i know that it isn't going to snow until this afternoon, but can i go ahead and lay out my coat, gloves, hat, and boots? i already know what i want to wear. i think i should wear my pajamas under my snow clothes because they are warm. should i wear a sweatshirt too? i think so. can i put it all on right now, except for my coat, gloves, hat and boots?"
he was sleepy. but he had a plan. it was precious. there was no way i could say no to this, he was just so cute. but, daddy stopped him briefly and asked him to come "cuggle" with him on the couch for a minute and "say good morning to daddy." jacob gladly climbed up into ryan's lap as he was flipping through the channels to look for the weather report. and then, he found it. the weatherman blurted out, "looks like our area has seen all it is going to get today, folks, the biggest flurries will hit further east of the metroplex."
ryan and i just looked at each other. oh no.
"mama, wait a minute...what does that mean?"
ryan and i are looking at that ol' weatherman and his fancy map that could not be clearer over our part of the city, and i 'bout wanted to jump through that screen and shake the man for lying to my baby. yes, i know he wasn't technically lying to him, but it felt that way, because i knew what was coming...
"well buddy, i think their weather guesses were wrong, i don't think we are going to get any snow after all."
"yes we are. we are going to get 3-5 inches this afternoon. the weatherman yesterday said so."
"well, i know buddy, but they were wrong. i'm so sorry"
i'm telling you friend, the look on his face was just heartbreaking. flat. out. heartbreaking. honestly, it just killed me. i know there were a heap of kids that were disappointed that morning, but i'm not sure that many of them were as disappointed as my sweet jacob. remember?? he'd been looking forward to it for months....asking every week....and now, had finally gotten confirmation...only to be severely disappointed.
"but mama, why would God let that happen if He knew how much i wanted it to snow?" whew. that was a tough one. we talked it out and i assured him that God does know that and does care about that...but that we don't always get what we want and we need to be careful not to "blame" God when we are disappointed. i told him that we need to be thankful for the good things instead.
then it hit me.
where was i when i needed to hear this for the last year?? well, to be honest, i was actually in the loving words of so many friends and family.
have you ever been let down? if you answer no, i can't say i believe you.
life is tough. it is hard and Jesus guaranteed us that it would always be that way. (john 10:10) but isn't it even worse when we, the little bitty controllers of our own little worlds here, get into a rhythm and think we have it all figured out.
i am going to finish college in four years and then get a great paying job. but, then the economy tanks and instead you dropped out of junior college and are working a crap job that you hate.
i am going to be married by the time i'm 25 and have two girls and a boy. but, then your 30th birthday rolls around and you start entertaining the idea that maybe your mate doesn't have to be a strong Christian.
after i work at this lower level for the company, they will promote me to management and i will retire well. but, then the company downsizes and your name was at the top of the list.
i'm going to be healthy...and thin...and active...and athletic because that's who i am. but, then the doctor gives you news that you never thought you'd hear, and you look down at your own body and don't even recognize it.
we've all been disappointed. in big ways and small ways. if we are honest, the big ways have probably outnumbered the small...or at least it feels that way. maybe for you, this hasn't been an issue. but for me...it surely has. i have, what some might say, a somewhat controlling personality. i like to think that i'm not too overbearing and unbearable to be around. but i am well aware that i like to be a strong contributor to...well, everything. i have always been a bit strong-willed, outspoken, precocious, hard-headed and opinionated. (don't worry, i'm getting mine...my abigail is her mother's daughter) and while i would not describe myself as a "type-A" person at all, i do like some things a certain way. and when i get something set in my head...well, actually, mainly in my heart...i can be devastated if things change. in fact, i have noticed (in my wise old age :) that i'm not a huge fan of change. at least, not the bad kind. i'm completely fine with the good kind of changes. seems fair doesn't it? ya, not so much.
over these last months and months and months, i have very much had to just sit back (ok, lie back) and trust. and more than anything, i have had to just...let...go. sounds easy, those three little words. but, oh, my friend, they carry more weight than i was prepared for.
let go. really? of everything?? my health? my family's future? my finances? my children? my self-image? my dreams? my hobbies? my household normalcy? my marriage? my independence? my pride? my expectations? my feelings? my routine? my waistline? ;)
the answer is clear...yes.
jeremiah 29:11 "for i know the plans i have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." that's right. it is more than just a popular verse to hang up in your home. it is His promise to us.
exodus 20:3 "you shall have no other gods before me." this is not a suggestion. and, my friend, it is not limited to little golden calves that you might think about. your work can be your god. your children can be your god. your pastor can be your god. your plans for your future (or my plans for my future) can be your god. but He makes it clear that only your God should be your god. and this one, friend, was written in stone. (ex. 20)
|isaiah 55:8 "for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord." i have heard it said that "He wants for you what you would want for you, if you knew what He knows." He knows the end from the beginning. (isaiah 46:10) in a very ridiculous example...it would be like seeing a movie that has a very tough plot...maybe a spouse dies, or a child is hurt...something very hard to watch, hard to take in. but, once you have seen the movie...then, the next time you see it, that "bad" part would be much easier to sit through. not because it still isn't awful - it is. then why? because you know the end from the beginning. you know how it all works out. you've seen the credits and you can rest in that. well, friend...He wrote the credits. and He gets the credit. He can be trusted. and not just because He knows the end from the beginning, but because He is the End and the Beginning. (rev. 22:13)|
|hebrews 10:23 "let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." i have clung to this Truth like i have have clung to my hope. the king jimmy version of this says to "hold fast" to the hope we profess. hold fast. this is good stuff. part of that definition refers to "taking possession of and to keep possession of"...oohh, i love that! friend, that is what we have to do with our hope. possess it. and act that way. we own it. it is ours. and He is faithful. (deut. 7:9 - deut. 32:4 - 1 cor. 1:9)|
hebrews 11:1 "now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." i have not seen God. i mean, i should say, i have never literally seen God...like i see my recliner right now. and, i can't tell you exactly how or why or when...but i can say i have seen His work this last year in my heart of hearts. i have seen the hope i have in Him grow, and i have seen how He has used this whole ordeal for good, (romans 8:28) i have seen my faith in Him grow, i have seen this impact so many lives in a positive way...so, maybe i have seen Him, after all.
i do not want to diminish any of your pain, your fears, your disappoinments, or your heartaches. but i would rather do that than diminish what God has planned for you because of them and through them.
all my sweet jacob wanted was to play in the snow. doesn't sound like too much to ask, right? but, he doesn't make the snow. and so, he couldn't control the snow. and therefore, he was disappointed...at least for a little while.
about three hours later, when we least expected it...we looked outside and there it was....snow!! big, fluffy, wonderful flakes...everywhere. we played, we caught flakes on our tongues, we threw snowballs, we built a snowman...we had a blast!! and then that night, before bed, we thanked God for the wonderful surprise of snow. and then later i thanked God for the look on jacob's face when he saw it...so happy and so thankful. so much what i want my face to be...today and every day. whether rain, sun, sleet...and of course, snow. :)