The four-year-old girl approached her mother in tears. “Mommy, this new sheet won’t fit!”
The mom quickly explained to her distraught daughter that the small cloth bag she was holding was not the new sheets. The child’s new pink floral sheets were in the laundry being washed. What the little girl held was the bag they had come in from the store.
Her mom and I giggled at the child’s misunderstanding. Yet I began to see myself in the child’s view of what she was holding.
Often our lives seem a poor fit with our expectations. Who would have thought, when my own daughter was four, that at age twenty-four she would die of a brain tumor? That did not measure up with my expectations.
“Lord, this cancer doesn’t fit my plans!”
Like the four-year-old holding an empty bag that crushed her dreams for a beautiful new bed, I cried to my Father that this was the wrong choice. Yet God tenderly reassured me that he was preparing something greater—an eternity of benefit that in His perfect wisdom would reap untold blessings for many.
God in His infinite wisdom knew that life would reveal many trials that seem so wrong and out of place. That is why He said, “’My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, ‘ declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8 NIV
At such times, we lean on Him and bring our tears before Him. And like the four-year-old’s parent offered solace in her misunderstanding, Jesus sends His Holy Spirit for us to bring comfort and reassurance of His perfect provision.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1: 3-5 NIV
Debra L. Butterfield says
And He cares so much that He catches every one of our tears in a bottle; that’s how precious our pain and tears are to Him.